The Community Dinner/Shelter serves 100+ meals each Sunday 5:00-6:30 pm and provides emergency shelter for 20+ individuals 4:00 pm-8:00 am for nights 30 degrees F or below, or other extreme conditions.
We serve members of the community, seniors, the hungry, and the homeless in the Fern Ridge Area (Crow, Elmira, Noti, and Veneta---15 miles west of Eugene, OR). This nonprofit program is run by community volunteers and hosted by Valley United Methodist Church, a 501(c)3 organization, located at 25133 E. Broadway Street, Veneta, OR 97487.
The snowstorm of February/March 2019 tested the resolve of the Shelter’s volunteers, capabilities, and budget. We vowed to open even though the facility was without power for the first few hours of activation. We were the only shelter active during the event. Other social service agencies that normally provided food (Meals on Wheels and the food pantry) were closed during the snowstorm, so for some guests the dinner and breakfast provided them with much needed emergency food. We even hosted community members who were without power for as long as a week.
Over the past 5 years, the Dinner has been stretched to capacity as well. When we began in 2011, the average number of meals was 30 to 40. Now, serving up to 120 meals is not uncommon.
Volunteers are the heart and soul of this program. Community members join together from churches, service organizations, schools, and local businesses.
The Community Dinner/Shelter is funded solely through donations for food, supplies, and operating expenses. As the number of guests has increases, so has the variety of needs. Through this capital campaign, we hope to raise $3,000 in 3 months for increased nutritious food stores, sleeping bags/blankets, and a generator. Your donation will be split evenly to both programs. If you wish to donate to the Dinner or Shelter separately, you can do so using the Donate button
on our website.
We hope you will join us in making our community a place where all are welcome and all are served.
For more information or to volunteer, check out our website: http://www.venetadinners.org