SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – A Springfield couple said they’ve been receiving spoiled food from local food pantries for nearly two decades, and they feel that something needs to be done.
Alen and Carol Davis said they struggle to get by, and they need to be able to go to food pantries in order to eat consistently. But they often feel frustrated when they get home and parts of their food aren’t even edible. Alen said the final straw was a recent packet of sloppy joe mix that was 10 years past its expiration date.
"It made me feel hopeless because the system let me down for giving me spoiled food. I think they should do better by helping the needy,” said Alen Davis.
The Davis’ said they mostly frequent Catholic Community Services in Springfield. Though that organization isn’t responsible for the rotten sloppy joe mix, the couple did say they received a box of cornbread mix from there that was eight years past its expiration.
Staff with Catholic Community Services said it’s important to them to maintain a healthy food environment. They want everyone to leave feeling satisfied and like their needs are being met.
"We try to treat each person that walks in the door with dignity, and it's a dignity that everyone deserves, regardless of their circumstances, their identity, even their choices,” said the Director of Development for Catholic Community Services, Wendy Ames-Dionisio.
Staff said they usually don’t have the food long enough for it to go bad. They said they receive deliveries from Food for Lane County, their primary source of donations, and hold open-pantry days the next day.
Food for Lane County said they have a system for evaluating if donations are okay to move forward, including the conditions of canned goods and how long certain foods are usable after their printed date.
"We want to make sure that the food that's distributed is healthy and that it's usable,” said Karen Edmond with Food for Lane County.