Earlier this month, Café Yumm! donated nearly 95,000 pounds of dried Oregon-grown black beans to FOOD for Lane County and the Oregon Food Bank. As a longtime donor, we are thrilled to share this gift which will become hundreds of thousands of meals for families in need.
Beginning in 2015, we partnered with a family farm in Oregon to help them transition from conventional agriculture to organic growing methods. By contracting them to grow our black beans, the farmers were given the opportunity to plan a 3-year journey toward organic certification. This meant that we had a surplus of “transitional” beans that were not yet certified. While our restaurants only serve certified organic beans, this crop of transitional beans offered a wonderful opportunity to provide an important source of protein and fiber to our neighbors.
“The fundamental reason we are in the restaurant business is to nourish humanity and the world. It goes hand in hand with people who don’t have resources, and we need to nourish them as well,” says Mark Beauchamp, Café Yumm!’s President, CEO, and Co-Founder. “From the beginning, we have always donated to FOOD For Lane County, and this is a highlight of our 25-year relationship with the organization.”
“Our partnership with Café Yumm! and the Beauchamps goes back many years, and it is heartwarming to see how they have supported the food bank financially and with food donations,” says Brad Bassi, FFLC Food Resource Developer. “We can always count on Café Yumm! for quality donations.”
Those sentiments are echoed by Oregon Food Bank’s Strategic Sourcing Manager, Katie Pearmine. “We’re thrilled to receive this incredible donation from Café Yumm! and count them as a partner in the fight against hunger. We’ve heard from our clients that beans are a pantry staple that work for families across many cultures. This donation will go a long way towards helping us halt the spread of hunger.”
Of the 47 pallet loads of beans, each weighing 2,000 pounds, 21 were donated directly to the Oregon Food Bank Network to be distributed to local food banks throughout Oregon. The remaining 26 pallet loads will be transported to FOOD For Lane County’s warehouse to be distributed through its partner agencies. The donated beans come in 25-pound bags (too large for most individuals and families), so the bags will be repackaged for local food banks and pantries.
There are many ways to get involved with local food banks. From volunteer gardening to organizing a donation drive, visit FOOD for Lane County or the Oregon Food Bank to see how you can help!