By Linda Whitmore
For a company that lists “Support of our communities” as part of its values statement, it’s natural that NORPAC Foods Inc. would assist however it could.
“They’re always there to help,” said Stayton City Administrator Don Eubanks.
Thursday, April 23, 5:30 p.m.
Social, 6:30 p.m. dinner, 7:30 p.m. awards
Regis High School Activity Center
Tickets: $25, available at local banks, credit union, or at the
Stayton Sublimity Chamber of Commerce office,
175 E, High St., Stayton 503-769-3464
When asked why the company has such a strong focus on involvement, Julie Balderston, executive secretary for NORPAC president George Smith, said, “It is a chance for us to give back to our communities some of the bounty of our success.”
For its service to the Stayton/Sublimity region, NORPAC was unanimously endorsed by the Stayton Sublimity Chamber of Commerce to receive this year’s Ag Star Award. It’s the second time it has earned the award. NORPAC was previously honored for its service in 2005.
NORPAC processes vegetables, fruit and juices for home and food service. Its labels are Flav-R-Pac, Westpac and Santiam brands.
A farmers’ cooperative since 1924, the company now serves a market that includes Canada, Mexico, Central America and Pacific Rim countries as well as the United States – from its corporate headquarters at 930 W. Washington St., in Stayton.
NORPAC is the largest employer in the Stayton/Sublimity area. There are about 240 cooperative members who farm 45,000 acres and produce 600 million pounds of food a year. As a major employer, “what they do affects not only the city of Stayton but a lot of other communities,” Eubanks said.
He said NORPAC gives “enormous amounts” of non-perishable food to those in need.
“Our donations to Oregon Food Bank and Marion-Polk Food Share and Stayton Food Bank in fiscal year 2008 totaled 259,158 pounds,” Balderston. “All other donations of food totaled 268,352 pounds.”
In addition to food, NORPAC provides two staff people to help at Marketplace and contributes the use of a refrigerator truck to Relay for Life.
Not only on the corporate level, contributions come from the workers as well.
“NORPAC employees raise funds for and participate in the Salem and Stayton Relay for Life events for the American Cancer Society,” Balderston said. “Employees raised nearly $10,000 in each of the last two years for this cause.”
The workers also collect cash, food and toys at Christmas for the needy and donate them to Salvation Army, she said.
The company donates to six area high school drug-free graduation parties and has a scholarship program that is administered by the Oregon State College of Agriculture.
Its commitment to youth includes supporting numerous local elementary, high school and city football, basketball, baseball, softball and soccer programs through team sponsorships, fence signage and program or school calendar advertising.
Eubanks said NORPAC does “a lot of things behind the scenes.”
Selecting the company to receive the Ag Star Award was a decision made by the committee when they asked, “What business continues to work for the citizens and community?” said Eubanks. “NORPAC was a previous winner but it continues to do these things year after year.”