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For the more than 5,000 people in Washington’s rural Okanogan County who don’t have enough to eat, the options are about to get a whole lot better. As a wrap up to September’s Good Grains for a Good Cause campaign, we’re pleased to award Okanogan County Community Action Council (OCCAC) with a whopping 125 cases of whole grain foods, generously donated from food companies across the country.
The donation comes at an especially welcome time for Okanogan, as wildﬁres ravaged the surrounding communities throughout much of the late summer. According to Heidi, the community member who nominated the OCCAC:
“Okanogan County Community Action distributes food to every community food bank in Okanogan County. Okanogan County has a small population in a huge area. The percentage of poverty in this population is very high and aﬀects the way of life of all people of Okanogan County. Donations of grains are usually reﬁned, lacking the good nutrition needed to be healthy and productive citizens.”
Through their food banks, emergency services, and support services, the OCCAC is setting the standard for how rural communities can reject poverty as an obvious component of rural life. The director of the OCCAC further explained how much these donations will help the community:
“I see a high percentage (over 50%) of the clients being elders who would beneﬁt from and use an extra amount of whole grains. We receive white rice from FEMA but whole grains are truly lacking. As one of the poorest counties in Washington, we are perpetually underfunded to deliver and meet the needs of our neighbors who are food insecure. Your help will make a big diﬀerence for our clients.”
If the 125 cases are any indication, this year’s Whole Grains Month celebration was the most successful yet. Four years ago, when we ﬁrst launched Good Grains for a Good Cause, hundreds of people across the country nominated 99 diﬀerent food-related charities before Snack in a Backpack was selected as the winner. This year, our reach spread even further, as 177 diﬀerent food-related charities were nominated.
Just because Whole Grains Month is over doesn’t mean that the good deeds have to come to an end. All throughout the year, food pantries, food banks, and hunger relief organizations across the country are seeking donations of nutrient-rich foods like whole grains. Make a donation today, or consider sending a gift to those areas aﬀected by recent ﬂoods.
Lastly, we’d like to send a big thank you to the following companies for donating: Back to Nature, Barbara’s Bakery, Bob’s Red Mill, Catallia Mexican Foods, Dr. Kracker, Freekehlicious, Grainful, Hathor Do Brasil (Granó), Hodgson Mill, Homefree, InHarvest, Kellogg’s, Lotus Foods, Lundberg Family Farms, Mary’s Gone Crackers, Mockmill, Ozery Bakery/Pita Break, Pamela’s Products, Popsalot, Riviana Foods. (Kelly)