This time of the year business at the Wallowa County Food Bank starts picking up as unemployment begins to rise with the change of seasons.

"We were hit pretty hard last month," said Carolyn Pfeaster, who coordinates food bank activities in the Community Connection center in Enterprise. She didn't have a completed list of food bank statistics of usage, but said 44 families with 110 family members were helped with free food during October in Enterprise, with an additional 30 persons estimated to have been helped at the Wallowa Food Bank.

The central food bank in Enterprise is open to families that need food 1-4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A smaller food bank is located in the former dental building in Wallowa and is open from 1-3 p.m. on the second and third Tuesday of every month.

The food bank outlets are happy for all donations, especially entering the holiday season, and Pfeaster said that they received a windfall in the form of some 2,000 pounds of food and other items donated last month by former Enterprise Food City owners Dean and Lou Norden after their stock reduction sale.

Pfeaster said that appreciation is also extended to Enterprise High School for its homecoming food drive, which netted about 800 pounds of food, and to Joseph High School for another food drive and about 600 pounds of food donations.

The former "Supermarket Saturday" and "Scouting for Food" (by the Boy and Cub Scouts) food drives are no longer held annually, so the Enterprise and Joseph High School donations of food are all the more important in keeping food bank shelves stocked and preventing hunger in Wallowa County.

Pfeaster said that a limited number of Thanksgiving food boxes will be prepared for needy families, and suggests that households in real need call Community Connection, 426-3840, to be put on a list.

In the same vein, anyone who would like to help the cause by donating cash or food items is also asked to contact Community Connection.

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