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News Release
Commissioners are Helping Businesses to Help the Community (Photo) - 03/24/20

(Douglas County, Oregon) – It is no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has created more than a few obstacles in our everyday lives.  From education to medical to banking to food, cancellations and restrictions have made it more difficult to access products and services.  Your Douglas County Commissioners are dedicated to finding solutions to make sure that our residents, especially those most vulnerable are getting what they need during the crisis.  Last week they heard that Umpqua Dairy had a surplus of close-dated perishable dairy products that needed to find their way to local residents.  Working cooperatively with Umpqua Dairy, Umpqua Community Action Network (UCAN) and Douglas County Senior Services, Commissioners were able to negotiate a delivery to the UCAN Food Pantry on the morning of Friday, March 20.  The products delivered will be utilized immediately by UCAN for their daily food boxes, as well as at our Douglas County Senior Dining Sites. 

“Food items, especially perishable ‘staple’ food items, like milk and dairy products are always in high demand for UCAN’s food pantries and customers,” commented Sarah McGregor, UCAN Food Bank Program Manager.  “Deliveries like this are critical, as we are anticipating a substantial increase in the number of local residents requesting food assistance during the COVID-19 crisis.”  McGregor said they expect their requests will far exceed those they experienced during the February 19 Snowstorm, as more residents are feeling the economic impact of the pandemic.  Moreover, state officials have increased the income threshold for residents, so more people will be able to qualify for food assistance.  To find out more or to apply for UCAN’s food programs, log onto:

“By the county reaching out and helping with our perishable products, we are able to provide food to the community, rather than having it go to waste.  It is a win, win for everyone,” stated Steve Feldkamp, Chief Operating Officer, Umpqua Dairy Products Company. 

Your Douglas County Commissioners are working with state and federal officials to establish assistance programs for local businesses and residents affected by the COVID-19 crisis.  They issued a letter to Oregon’s Governor on Friday as well, requesting immediate action for kicker tax refunds, tax payment deferrals, establishing a statewide small business assistance hotline, tax credits for lost business revenue, supporting our trucking and transportation industry, suspending cable internet fees (so workers can work from home), and buying back all excess inventory from schools and restaurants and distributing it to local food banks.  Additionally, they would like to applaud the efforts of local businesses, like Express Employment Professionals for stepping up to the plate.  Owner Willis Cook, instructed his staff to bill Food Service Works working in our Senior Dining Sites at cost, thus waiving their processing fees.  This gesture will help the Senior Food program conserve their budget and help provide additional meals and hire additional help. “Given the special circumstances and the effort to take care of those in our community who are in greatest need, we want to be part of the solution,” said Willis Cook. 

The Douglas County Board of Commissioners are looking at every possible avenue to help keep food and services available to residents.  “We are all in this calamity together.  The more we can help our businesses to help our residents, the better off we will be in the long run,” commented Commissioner Tom Kress.

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