Packed with Pride, Tigard Tualatin’s food bank, in need of volunteers


Signs throughout the parking lot at Tigard High School direct families and community members to the right places where they can pick up food every first and third Wednesday of each month.

You see the cars lined up through the swim center parking lot every two weeks, boxes upon boxes filled to the brim at each station. Since March 2020, Packed with Pride has been providing anywhere from 200 boxes to 600 boxes of food every other week for local families in need. Packed with Pride is a local, non-profit food bank serving the Tigard-Tualatin community.

Executive Director for The Foundation for Tigard-Tualatin Schools and Program Director for Packed With Pride Margie Greene shared, “We provide a nutritious, well-rounded menu as well as doing our best to bring culturally specific foods to families.”

With an average of 140,000 pounds of food coming through the building every month, Food Operations Manager Lynda Aicher said, “Our biggest challenges are getting the volunteers and funding to keep operating.”

Created only days after the pandemic shut schools down, community members and volunteers came together to help. Now that Packed with Pride is going into its third year of operation, the need for volunteers is more important than ever.

“Because we are a nonprofit, we don’t have money to hire staff to do all the work that is necessary,” Greene said. “We are so grateful for everyone who has volunteered and continued to volunteer.”

Despite the hardships, Packed with Pride is a true example of how a community can come together when there is a need.

Chair of the Tigard-Tualatin School Board and Co-Founder of Packed with Pride Ben Bowman said, “It says a lot about our community that we raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, recruited many hundreds of volunteers, and have now made the program a permanent part of the school district. That is something we should all be proud of.”

Anyone 16 years or older is able to volunteer, which means many students have stepped up to help their community.

Sophomore Ethan Bayha had his first experience volunteering with Packed with Pride.

“My grandma has been volunteering here for three months so I thought I’d join,” Bayha said. “I would definitely come and volunteer again.”

Senior Qaswa Rehman shared why she enjoys volunteering for the community.

“It feels good helping people out,” Rehman said. “It brings joy to [others] and brings joy to me.”

For nearly three years now, Packed with Pride has strived to continue destigmatizing and supporting those who struggle with food insecurity through donations, volunteers, and support from the community and will continue to do so far into the future.

“Food insecurity is a silent shame and stigma in our society that needs to end,” Aicher said. “No one should go hungry.”