Workers Helping Workers: organized labor distributes food boxes to members impacted by COVID-19

An organization created by unions—Workers Helping Workers—held its fourth food box distribution March 14. One thousand boxes of food were distributed to workers who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Union members in need registered online to pick up food at the Laborers Local 737 hall in Northeast Portland.

Food boxes contained spaghetti and sauce, canned goods, tuna fish, crackers, cereal, oatmeal, rice, apples, onions, potatoes, carrots, and candy, all purchased at union Safeway and Albertsons stores. Franz Bakery donated bread.

Additionally, 202 food boxes were delivered to the Marion-Polk County Central Labor Chapter in Salem for distribution there; 128 boxes to the farmworkers union PCUN in Woodburn; 100 boxes each to the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) and IATSE locals; and Labor’s Community Services Agency found homes for 32 boxes of food.

About 50 volunteers from various unions volunteered over four days to unload, separate, box, and load the food. AJ Banuelos Bolanos of Laborers Local 737 handled the logistics. All told, Workers Helping Workers has distributed 4,000 boxes of food since the pandemic hit. More than 30 unions and labor councils have contributed financially and with volunteers to the program.

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