Stewardship In Action: Covid-19 Relief
LIFTING UP OUR COMMUNITIES DURING A GLOBAL PANDEMIC
2020 surprised us all. By March, COVID-19 had fundamentally altered how we work. It had also impacted Tillamook and Morrow counties — the people and places that have always been there for us.
"Coming together wasn’t just about TCCA. Creating a real impact took partners, nonprofits and a strategy to help our communities endure the pandemic."
Our farmer-owners committed $4 million to help our employees and hometown communities weather the storm. While $4 million can go a long way, making sure it made a meaningful impact took a vision and a plan.
SENDING HELP TO THE PEOPLE AND PLACES THAT NEEDED IT MOST
Local businesses grappled with economic hardship during the pandemic. That’s why we created the Hometown Resilience Fund to provide direct support to local businesses in our rural hometowns of Tillamook and Morrow counties. By working with local governments to turn our $500,000 into $1 million by securing matching funds, we were able to deliver business grants and be there for the communities that have been there for us for 112 years.
Providing grants to small businesses through our Hometown Resilience Fund was just one of the ways we provided relief to help our communities and neighbors get through a global pandemic.
"I lost the bulk of my business almost overnight with families staying and working from home. To adapt, I started supporting virtual school for some of the children who remained in my program. The Hometown Resilience Fund helped offset these costs. Without their support, my business would not have made it."
"Because of the lack of schools visiting the museum, we applied for the Hometown Resilience Fund to create and market a virtual field trip. Without TCCA’s financial aid and support, we wouldn't have been able to take on this project on our own."
Another way we worked hard to create impact was supporting local nonprofits such as Community Action Resource Enterprises (CARE) and Tillamook Estuaries Partnership (TEP). With additional funding, CARE expanded services and resources
to an increasing number of families, and TEP was able to continue growing native plants for its habitat restoration projects.
"We’ve always had a farmer mentality.
When your neighbor is down, you lift them up.
In 2020, we joined forces with over 100 nonprofits to help them do what they do best: serve our communities. We also streamlined processes that led to record product donations to feed the hungry. When COVID hit, we knew we needed to be there for the people and places that have always been there for us."
"When schools closed in March, we began a weekly delivery of food boxes for our youth. This program was made possible through the generous contributions of TCCA. Tillamook helped us provide weekly deliveries of nutritious snacks for 500 youth while they engaged in our virtual programming. It made a big impact in our communities, especially for those who are marginalized."
CELEBRATING NEIGHBORHOOD HEROES
As the events of 2020 unfolded, TCCA employees saw their neighbors and local essential workers struggling throughout their communities. Naturally, they wanted to help and express their appreciation. Together our employees delivered over 8,000 free product coupons, flooding our communities with free cheese, ice cream and more than a few smiles during a stressful year.
Collectively, TCCA employees handed out over 8,000 free product coupons. Each coupon for a free family-size ice cream or cheese product generated a lot of happiness in 2020.
DONATED $1.2 MILLION IN PRODUCT
During the pandemic, one out of every four Oregonians faced food insecurity — twice as many as the previous year. To help, TCCA worked alongside Oregon Food Bank, school districts and other partners to increase product donations from 2019 levels by over 450%, delivering $1.2 million worth of products (or the equivalent of 340,000 meals) in the process. We also distributed over $200,000 worth of product to our essential employees and farmer-owners to thank them for their service.
"Our longstanding partnership with TCCA has grown even closer in the wake of COVID-19. From the immediate impact of product donations to transporting tons of fresh dairy, produce and meat to hard-hit communities, our collective efforts are ensuring that thousands of families continue to have access to nutritious food."
ROLLING UP OUR SLEEVES
Even though the Oregon Zoo had to temporarily close its doors to visitors to help slow the spread of COVID-19, they still had to provide the same round-the-clock professional care, supplies and food to their animals — a responsibility our farmer-owners know well.
"No matter what’s happening in the world or with the economy, one fundamental fact is that people and animals still need to eat. We realized the zoo would be struggling during the crisis, too. Helping them out just seemed like the right thing to do."
Together, Joe Jenck and brother Donnie and son Brian donated and delivered enough hay from their dairy farm in Tillamook to feed the Oregon Zoo’s elephants for four months and help offset the loss of income from visitors.