More than 5,000 households will be donating food Saturday for Food Projects in Ashland, Medford, Talent and surrounding areas during the projects' bimonthly pickup.

More than 5,000 households will be donating food Saturday for Food Projects in Ashland, Medford, Talent and surrounding areas during the projects' bimonthly pickup.

Donors are reminded to place their green bags filled with food on their doorsteps for pickup first thing Saturday morning.

Organizers predict the Food Projects will have collected about 220,000 pounds of food throughout Jackson County by year's end to help feed the hungry.

The Food Project began in Ashland in 2009, spread to Talent in 2010 and started in Medford last February. Co-founder John Javna says the concept is spreading rapidly to other areas; he expects by April next year, there will be Food Projects in eight more towns in Oregon and two major cities in California. Eagle Point plans to start its own Food Project in February.

Volunteers distribute reusable green bags to their neighbors, who then buy one extra nonperishable item each week and store it in the bag. Every two months, volunteers pick up the bags of food and leave empty bags so neighbors can start saving food again.

In Ashland, the food goes to the Ashland Emergency Food Bank, which distributes it to its clients and other agencies. In Talent and Phoenix, the recipients are the Talent Food Bank and a Phoenix food pantry.

In the Medford area, which includes Jacksonville and Central Point, the food goes to 18 agencies, including ACCESS Inc., the Northwest Seasonal Workers, the Maslow Project, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Kids Unlimited and the Medford Gospel Mission.

For more information or to join as a pickup volunteer or a food donor, see http://ashlandfoodproject.com/mfp, email foodproject@opendoor.com or call 541-210-8288.