Council must support pantry

To the editor

The Cannon Beach Food Pantry must find and develop a new location by Jan. 31, or it will have to close. No suitable location has been offered by citizens or organizations. Closure appears probable.

As a point of history, in 2008 the City Council of Cannon Beach was made aware of the number of Cannon Beach residents receiving monthly emergency food assistance from the Seaside food pantries. Appalled by these numbers and by the realization that the Cannon Beach economy was unable to sustain the income levels of the people residing or working in Cannon Beach sufficient to cover the cost of their food the City Council embarked upon and committed resources to a project that facilitated the establishment of the Cannon Beach Food Pantry, which opened on April 15, 2009.

Learning that law prohibited the city from operating a food pantry, the City Council chose to assure the food pantry’s development by the negotiation of a location, the development of supporting community partnership organizations, the recruitment of volunteers to build and operate it, the hiring of a consultant to manage the volunteers and the acquisition of a volunteer food pantry manager.

In short, our city was the entity that made us aware of the needs in our community and then engaged us to fulfill those needs. Without its leadership, there would not have been a Cannon Beach Food Pantry.

If the Cannon Beach Food Pantry closes next February for want of finding a new location, our city and community will force those needing emergency food to have to use the next closest food pantries, which are in Seaside. Is this right? Is it right to burden the Seaside economy because of the deficiencies of our own economy?

If we as a community want to remain self-sufficient, we must sustain the Cannon Beach Food Pantry. The private sector has done all it can. It’s time for the entire community to work together.

This means we need the help of the public sector to facilitate a location solution. If you agree, please write your City Council asking them to find and facilitate a solution to the relocation of the Cannon Beach Food Pantry.

Nancy Giasson

Cannon Beach

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