One local organization has been recognized by Sen. Merkley for service to our community. Community Connection of Northeast Oregon was recognized for its outstanding service to Baker, Union and Wallowa counties by Sen. Jeff Merkley, who says it’s uniquely responsive to the needs of the community. Community Connection has seven locations and about 90 employees, and its food pantries provided more than 12,000 food boxes to 30,500 individuals last year. It’s transportation programs provided 80,820 rides for senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and others, and the summer Lunch Program served 5,698 free meals to kids ages 1-18 in La Grande. The Senior Meals Program served 45,000 meals to 1,098 adults older than 60.