Ashland Food Angels is a grassroots, fully volunteer cooperative venture which helps other organizations serving the homeless population and low income people in the Rogue Valley, primarily through the daily collection and redistribution of food retrieved from markets, bakeries and local organic farmers. A list of our donors can be found on the Food Angel donor page. We are different from food banks in that we gather food for other organizations to give away, and we predominantly focus on fruits, vegetables and other perishable foods.
The compound goals of providing food for those in need, offering an opportunity for self-help, self-reliance and community service, and keeping usable items out of the landfill have been met daily since 1996. In addition to our food deliveries, we have also gathered and donated warm clothing, blankets, kitchen utensils and personal care items. Over the nearly three decades of service, the Food Angels have collected and redistributed over six million pounds of food and nearly twice that amount in non-food items.
An additional aspect of our work involves education. Prior to being limited by CoVid restrictions, the Food Angels donated food weekly to several classes at Ashland High School, to Headstart and to other children's groups. Both with the High School and with Head Start, our involvement included educational talks on nutrition and a variety of other topics, including community service, aspects of wellness, and lifestyle choices. High School students were also invited to visit the garden adjacent to the Food Angels' workspace and learn about gardening, herbs and healthy food choices, and their help in the garden garnered them community service hours towards graduation.
The Ashland Food Angels has been highly successful and effective, helping many individuals and families over the nearly thirty years of service. diverting millions of pounds of useful items from local landfills into the hands of people in need. The Food Angels expanded from helping one group to serving many groups regularly, as well as other groups and individuals through one time or occasional donations. A list of our recipients can be seen on the Food Angel recipient page.
The ripple effect of this project has contributed significantly to the lives of millions of people in this area, The Ashland Food Angels has received recognition locally, regionally and nationally as the recipient of a number of grants and awards. The founder, Pamala Joy, who has remained as the director since the project's beginning, was named The Angel of Ashland in 2003, an award bestowed by the Ashland Food Cooperative. In September 2013 Ms. Joy was selected for the E-chievement Award, a national award given to one American each week by the widely recognized radio program, E-Town, in recognition for the beneficial work of the Food Angels. The E-Chievement Award celebrates those who are making a positive difference in their communities and beyond.