Sunflower Foods, a local food company, launched a Pay It Forward program this winter as a way to donate healthy pre-made meals to the food bank.
"We wanted to find a way to provide food for people who couldn't afford it, who were on disability, who did need some sort of subsidy. At first we were just marking down the price for them and it was coming out of our pockets. It started to get a little more difficult for us and we didn't wanna start losing money on this. And so we came up with the idea of having the community donate," said Carrie Taylor, founder of Sunflower Foods.
The Pay It Forward program started on Feb. 21. If someone wants to donate the cost of a pre-made Sunflower Foods meal at the local food bank, Sunflower Foods will match that donation.
"So for the first month we didn't have anything but the second month when we started the program, after we started the meal delivery service, we had something like 70 meals go in. So we had 35 donations. We matched it with 35 meals, and we had given away all those meals for free to people who needed them."
The company also launched a new meal delivery service on Cortes Island Feb. 1; this is currently the only delivery service available on Cortes since Meals on Wheels stopped during the pandemic.
"There were a lot of people reaching out that wanted to make sure their elderly family members were eating well. Some of the people who used to rely on them Meals on Wheels program that stopped for a period of time. They were reaching out, asking if we could do something like that and so we decided to put something together that would suit a few different people's needs," said Taylor.
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