Alleviating hunger by
creating access to food.


His easy smile masks his financial and health-related hardships. Once homeless, he now shares a house with six other people, two of whom are also Vietnam vets. But the house has no electricity.

“We have water now, but that’s about all we have,” says Clarence, 68, between bites of apple pie. When Clarence runs out of money toward the end of the month, FOOD for Lane County’s Dining Room provides a comfortable and safe place to eat.

“It’s a very nice place,” says Clarence, sporting a baja hoodie and Vietnam veteran baseball cap. “They got good food and very good service. They always have a happy smile and good conversation. This place feeds a lot of people that would otherwise go without a meal completely.”

Chronic Obstruction Pulmonary Disease (COPD) makes it difficult for Clarence to breathe. He pauses, coughing to clear his throat. He removes his baseball cap, revealing a thick head of white and silver hair swept across his forehead. He proudly shows off the military ribbons on his hat. “This one is for National Defense, and this is a Good Conduct Medal.”

Clarence is living with the effects of war, having lost 70% of his hearing from firing heavy artillery in Viet Nam. He served nine years in the Army, but his VA benefits do not give him enough assistance to live on. He perks up when he reflects on his military experience. He speaks rapidly — defying his COPD — and describes his first tour: “I fired heavy artillery 16 hours a day, seven days a week. I lost most of my hearing because of the big guns.”

Help Solve Hunger With a Donation or by Volunteering.
Tell Your Story


"Thank God we are here now, because we are free. My husband works every day in the mountains cutting brush. He makes little bundles, and for every 100 bundles he gets $50."
Read more


"I get to come out here and grow vegetables for people who really need them and don’t have access to good food. I think agriculture is a really interesting field."
Read more


"I’m so incredibly thankful for the food pantry. It helped put food on the table when the food stamps ran out. When you’re a student, to have a resource like that is really helpful."
Read more