Fall is the harvest season–traditionally known as a time to celebrate and give thanks for a successful harvest and plentiful food. Ancient people held grand festivals to show appreciation for their crop, and Oregon Food Bank’s annual Harvest Dinner is a modern opportunity for Oregonians to celebrate the tradition, give thanks for the nourishing food they have, and support those not as fortunate not only during “harvest season” but the rest of the year.
West Coast Event Productions has partnered with Oregon Food Bank (OFB) for the past six years to produce this great event. While the harvest theme remains consistent, Jaime Huxford, Pat Smith, and the rest of the West Coast team work to ensure the event is unique each year, while maintaining the elements that brand this event, and the values of Oregon Food Bank so well.
“Oregon Harvest Dinner had for a couple of years, used greater themes that drove the décor…one year we built a huge two story red barn and had scarecrows. Another year we did an Oregon theme and showcased different areas in Oregon including a Burnside bridge and a Mt. Hood inspired backdrop. The past two years, OFB wanted to bring Oregon Harvest Dinner event’s focus back on the work OFB does. Décor often utilizes items in their warehouse, using pallet walls (which constructed a whiskey bar this year!) and stacks of food on pallets for backdrops. This year, OFB incorporated their annual donor recognition awards into the event, and provided large banners that celebrated their honorees” said Huxford.
“We’re so fortunate to be able to hold this event in our warehouse, so we want to ensure that the warehouse is part of the event and the decor,” said OFB Special Events Coordinator, Tracey Walker of the more authentic warehouse atmosphere. “West Coast Event Productions has done a great job at highlighting the food stored in the warehouse, and hiding the not so pretty parts with little creative touches that are rough, rustic, and fun.”
Attendees at Oregon Harvest Dinner helped provide support for OFB’s work to secure and distribute food through the OFB Network, and to find solutions to hunger through innovative programs. Last fiscal year, for the second consecutive year, over one million emergency food boxes were distributed by OFB. Distribution of food boxes has increased 41 percent in the past five years, and where there’s higher demand, there must be higher supply. Look for the save the date for Oregon Harvest Dinner next year for a fabulous night to give thanks and give back. See what other neat ways you can support Oregon Food Bank at community driven events, like Season’s Eatings in December. Corporate sponsors—consider including Oregon Harvest Dinner 2014 in your sponsorship budget now, and help with current efforts focusing on food supply, childhood hunger, and increasing fresh food availability.
See a whiskey bar made out of Oregon Food Bank pallets and the full album and more photos on the Portland Society Page