In this holiday season like no other, the peninsula community is being challenged to fund its food banks.

Many businesses have been closed or slowed by covid, their employees laid off or working fewer hours. Even if covid hadn’t happened, this winter would be difficult because of the delayed crab season and ongoing razor clam closure due to domoic toxin. Jessie’s Ilwaco Fish Company alone ordinarily provides dozens of jobs, but isn’t likely to under its new owner until 2021.

All this bad news sends families to food banks in search of nutritional help. As it did last year, a local charitable foundation is providing a matching grant to encourage generosity.

“The Loren H. Corder Foundation was amazed at community response to our Food Bank Challenge last year and with covid-19 impacting our community, we believe another challenge is needed. We would have started this earlier but our foundation relies on only investment fund earnings. We were hit hard early in the year but rebounded enough to help out local programs,” Board Member Chuck Mikkola said.

The foundation is again offering $10,000 in matching funds to each of the three food banks — Chinook, Ilwaco and Ocean Park.

“It’s going to be a mad house in this short time period to mail in or carry in your donation to the food bank of your choice,” the foundation said. “But it’s worth trying and we do this only once a year, which doubles your donation and helps all year those that lost their jobs, are struggling to make ends meet and struggle with covid worries. This offers a ray of hope as it brought our small community together in a big way last year, let us do it again.”

One big cash source will be missing this year — the Oregon Tuna Classic that contributed $15,000 into the community food programs, but had to cancel 2020 events to comply with covid-safety rules. This will make meeting the match a bigger effort.

All donations received by the three food banks starting Dec. 1 through Dec. 28 will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Foundation, potentially providing each with $20,000.

“So please get your donations in and double the impact of you money,” the foundation said.

Your donation should go directly to the food bank of your choice who will track their individual donations. Addresses for the food banks are as follows: Chinook Food Bank, P.O. Box 243, Chinook, Wash 98614; Ilwaco Food Bank, P.O. Box 494, Ilwaco, Wash 98624; Ocean Park Food Bank, P.O. Box 907, Ocean Park, WA 98640.

If you have questions, please call Chuck Mikkola at 360-244-2347.

The Corder Foundation was created by the will of Loren H. Corder and became a charity with his death in 1988. Since then, the foundation has donated more than $2.4 million to food banks, Pace Nutrition, Rebuilding Together, the South Pacific County Humane Society and the Loyalty Day parade in addition to other community projects.

The Chinook Observer is making donations to all three food banks. We hope you’ll join us. We’ll publish news about how this effort works out.

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