Working out of a relief center in Blue River, John Carlile and some dedicated volunteers are distributing food and other essentials to people affected by the Holiday Farm Fire.
“Folks were literally running for their lives from flames with nothing but the clothes on their backs,” said John. When residents began returning to the area, John turned to FFLC for help. “Tom [Mulhern, FFLC Executive Director] said ‘what do you need, and I will get it on a truck and get it to you’.”
“We’re essentially running a free-to-the-community grocery store, and we’re going to continue to do that as long as we have the supplies and the need exists,” said John. Thanks to a $25,000 grant from the International Paper Foundation, and other donations from the community, FFLC is providing food to three relief centers in the McKenzie River Valley — Leaburg, Blue River and Rainbow.
“I came down to see how I could help, and they already had an incredible operation going with no instruction and no operating manual. Nothing to go on but a desire to help the people who needed help and a will to do it,” said John. The economic impact of the fire will be long lasting. “We’re going to have people in need of food for a long time,” he added.
“FFLC really stepped up, and we’re all confident that they’re going to continue to make sure these folks have the food and resources they need to rebuild their lives.”
FFLC also worked with the American Red Cross to provide food to fire evacuees in Eugene and Springfield. Mark Stewart is Feeding Supervisor for the Red Cross. “We were feeding up to 900 evacuees three meals a day from my distribution center,” said Mark.
“FFLC was instrumental in keeping up with the demand. They also took the lead in preparing special needs meals. That part alone would have been extremely challenging without their help. From our time working together, I can tell Lane County is in great hands. Thanks to Tom and the whole team.”
Thank you International Paper for your generous support!