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Mark McGuire, Philomath Community Services executive director

Mark McGuire

Philomath Community Services

No one should go hungry in Philomath. We have too much food and too many able bodies to let that happen.

However, sometimes it's not so clear what we citizens can do to provide food for our hungry, or where we should put our able bodies to do useful work. That's where Philomath Community Services comes in.

The tagline of PCS is "people helping people" and in a nutshell, we put mechanisms in place that enable us neighbors to care for one another — whether we're a volunteer, a client, a staff member or a donor.

Philomath Community Services has developed and is continuing the build upon an infrastructure of service programs that allows community members to roll up their sleeves and do some helping. Everyone has something to share at PCS.

As a community nonprofit, we do more than provide food, too. Children need clothing. Adults need hygiene supplies. PCS supports these basic needs as well. We even incorporate garden education and Christmas gifts, among other services.

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These services will grow and refine over time to reflect the needs of our community. The future will bring new challenges but also new opportunities. One such opportunity is the potential for a Philomath farmers' market, or Philomath Community Market. This is a project that I am particularly excited about given my involvement in local agriculture.

Imagine filling a basket with fresh kale, honey or eggs right here in town! A Philomath market is presently under feasibility investigation, but the project is developing some backbone as interest grows and our steering committee — which includes representatives from PCS, the City of Philomath, the Oregon State University Extension Service and the Corvallis-Albany Farmers' Markets — gains momentum.

Sign up for our newsletter at philomathcommunityservices.org, and we'll keep you posted.

In all of this, I want to be clear that we are not an agency set apart from our neighbors. We don’t exist as a storefront that hands out goodies; rather, our board of directors, our program managers, and all of our constituents are simply unified neighbors. We are a hub of volunteerism and service among our own community members. Aren't we truly fortunate that our hometown has such a generous, supportive neighborship?

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Mark McGuire is the executive director of Philomath Community Services. He can be reached at director@philomathcommunityservices.org.

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