By Karen Beck
We hear it on the news. We talk about it at work. Portlanders are concerned about the housing crisis and the rising number of people who regularly struggle to make ends meet. Although many of us would like to do something to help, the problem seems daunting. As housing prices rise, many of our neighbors are forced to make the hard choice between paying the rent and regularly putting food on the table.
According to the Oregon Hunger Task Force the rate of food insecurity in Multnomah County is 13.8%. That means more than 100,000 people in Multnomah County don’t consistently have access to sufficient quantities of nutritious food and one-third of those are children. At Portland Food Project, we believe that no one in our neighborhoods should have to go hungry.
Portland Food Project is a local non-profit organization that makes it easy to do something to help. When Portland Food Project donors go to the grocery store, they pick up additional non-perishable food items to add to their green bag. On collection days they put the green bag out on their porch so their Neighborhood Coordinator can pick up the full bag and leave them a new one for next time. It’s that easy.
Our Neighborhood Coordinators pick up green bags six times a year—on the second Saturday of every other month. The food we collect goes to support 21 local food pantries in the Portland area. In Northeast Portland we support pantries at the Bethel Community Care Program, Birch Community Services, Home Forward, NE Emergency Food Program, and Sharon Community Services.
Portland Food Project helps to supplement the food local pantries receive from other organizations with non-perishable foods that help families make meals. We encourage our donors to contribute foods that are high in protein and staples they would commonly stock in their own pantries.
For more information about the Portland Food Project and how you can sign up as a donor or a neighborhood coordinator visit portlandfoodproject.org or contact us at 503-775-2110 or firstname.lastname@example.org.