MEDFORD, Ore. — On Friday a semi-truck trailer filled with food pulled up to the Access warehouse in Medford — about 23,000 pounds, all going to local food banks in order to help feed famiies in need through the winter.
"It means that we're able to stretch our food donations out into the community a little bit longer during the holiday season," said Rachel Ward, nutrition director for Access.
The Olsrud Family, which owns the Sherm's Thunderbird Market and Food 4 Less locations in Southern Oregon, has been making similarly significant donations since 1999.
"It's been something that we can do for the community. There's a lot of need this time of year and actually all winter," said Steven Olsrud, president of Sherm's Markets.
Donating is nothing new for the Olsrud family, and they have no plans of ever stopping.
"They've given a tremendous amount over the years they have supported us mostly our nutrition program, they've helped us to secure trucks, to build new buildings, they've been a great constant supporter of access over the years," said Ward.
"The community has been really good for us, they've supported our stores for over 50 years so it's our turn to give back to the community," said Olsrud.
Company founder Sherm Olsrud passed away in May, but the family has made every indication that it will continue generously supporting the community in his absence. The revitalized Bear Creek Park playground — now called the Olsrud Family Community Playground — bears their name because of their philanthropy and support of the Bear Creek Park project.