Slaying Hunger Together on National Cheeseburger Day

Slaying Hunger Together on National Cheeseburger Day

Today as we post this, Oregon is ravaged by wildfires and smoke. Our stores are closed as we keep our employees and customers safe from toxic air and smoke. We hope that you and your loved ones are out of harm’s way. There is an immediate need for fire relief in the Northwest. We’ve made a donation in the amount of $10k to the Wildfire Relief Funds of the United Way Columbia Willamette and United Way Mid-Willamette Valley Chapters. Stay safe!

National Cheeseburger Day is September 18. Arguably America’s favorite sandwich, cheeseburgers are so beloved, they have their own Instagram account #cheeseburgers. Cheeseburgers also have their own songs. And swag. (PJ’s? Really?) And of course, there are even cheeseburger tribute face masks.

That’s all great, but with all that’s been going on this year, we wanted to do something that could help in our mission of making this the healthiest region on the planet.

We’re joining our dairy partner Face Rock Creamery, makers of the award-winning Vampire Slayer cheddar used in our new Vampire Slayer Burger to “slay hunger” in their coastal hometown of Bandon, OR. For every Vampire Slayer Burger sold on National Cheeseburger Day (Sept. 18) Face Rock Creamery and Burgerville will be donating $1 each to Bandon Feeds the Hungry.

Face Rock Creamery: Bandon Pride of Place
When Face Rock Creamery reopened Bandon’s historic dairy in 2013, they brought more than dairy jobs; they brought a renewed a sense of agricultural pride in the region. This pride stretched back to the 1800’s when the town boasted 10 cheesemakers.   With the addition of Seattle cheesemaker Brad Sinko (Beecher’s Cheese) Face Rock quickly became a nationally recognized cheese brand.

“I think the thing that makes Face Rock unique in my mind, is it has a sense of place” says Face Rock CEO Greg Drobot. “Our milk only comes from two local farms.  We know exactly where the milk comes from and every piece of cheese with our logo on it is produced in our facility in Bandon. We don’t do private labeling. We don’t work with third party companies. Everybody that works for us is local to the community, either in Bandon or Coos Bay or Coquilles. It’s a piece of our community with each piece of cheese that we’re selling.”

Food Insecurity

Like many coastal Oregon towns dependent on tourism, Bandon grapples with food insecurity. Of it’s 3100 residents, 47% live at poverty or below the annual cost of living, and almost 70% of school age children are on reduced or free lunch. Ironic, for a town whose major export is cheese. Bandon Feeds the Hungry, a coalition of four hunger-related non-profits, joined forces provide grants, food and other assistance for the community’s residents in need.  Executive Director Amy Moss Strong noted that this year has been especially tough: the pandemic has continued to devastate communities such as Bandon who depend on tourism for their economy.  Combine this with Bandon’s large elderly population and the effect of school closures on free and reduced lunch programs and the result is a community that’s struggling.

So she turned to Face Rock’s Greg Drobot for ideas and assistance. He offered both. “I wanted (to do) something related to food because that’s what we do. We produce cheese. Year-round. We’ve actually never been closed…we try to be that strong ship in the storm, you know, that we’re always open, there to provide food and ice cream and whatever, anything the community needs.”

Now, Bandon doesn’t actually have a Burgerville. The closest one is 154 miles away in Corvallis. But there’s a strong pull between the two.  As one of Oregon’s most loved, not to mention sunniest coastal towns, Bandon is wildly popular with people all over the state, and Bandon residents are avid fans of Burgerville-it’s often a must-stop on road trips. More important, Bandon is an essential part of what makes Orewashigonia what we are: people who step up to take care of each other.

Want to make a direct donation? Send check to Bandon Feeds the Hungry
P.O. Box 566, Bandon, OR, 97411. You will receive a tax-deductible receipt in the mail. All donations are tax-deductible.

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