The Ashland Food Project was started in January 2009 by a small group of Ashland residents who wanted make it easy for people to donate food to the Ashland Emergency Food Bank. We realized that many of our neighbors wanted to help fight hunger in our community, but for one reason or another, never get around to it. So we created a simple, door-to-door food collection system to enable them to pitch in.
We had three goals:
1To provide a regular supply of food to our hungry neighbors
2To create new neighborhood connections and strengthen our community
3To serve as a model for other communities
Armed with brochures that proclaimed, “You want to help, We want to make it easy!” AFP volunteers canvassed our own neighborhoods, knocking on doors and inviting our neighbors to participate. Whenever they said “Yes,” we suggested that they buy just one extra nonperishable food item each week, and store it at home. We promised to stop by their homes every 2 months, pick the food up, and take it directly to the food bank
Our Track Record
The project started with a core group of 10 volunteers picking up food. About a year later, there were over 150 in 3 different towns. The first Pickup Day, in 2009, netted about 600 pounds of food. By August, 2011, we were picking up more than 36,000 lbs. county-wide, every two months! And in October 2016, we reached our 2 millionth pound of food donated to food banks in Jackson County!
In Ashland alone, the Ashland Food Project delivers more than 25,000 lbs. of food to the Ashland Emergency Food Bank every other month. But even though we have more than doubled the amount of food donated to the food bank, the need has increased 25%—so shelves are bare as we approach each pickup! We currently have about 23% of Ashland households participating, but we’ve set our sights on 30%.
We’re honored that you’d consider joining us, sharing food with neighbors, and building a stronger community. It’s our hope that as a volunteer with the Ashland Food Project, you’ll have fun, grow, get to know people, and feel good about yourself and your town.