April 21, 2020
For the most up-to-date information about Multnomah County's COVID-19 response, please check our COVID-19 website, and the County’s Twitter and Facebook channels, often. You can also contact my office if you have any other questions.
Dear friends and neighbors,
Over the last several weeks, I’ve felt particularly stretched by how our daily lives have changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps you’ve felt that way, too.
Routines have been disrupted. Uncertainty looms over work, health and security. And our ongoing commitment to staying home to save lives is more important now than ever, though doing so presents its own set of challenges.
But not everyone has felt the impacts of COVID-19 and our new realities in the same ways. Many more people in our community — our friends, family members, neighbors and maybe even you — have found themselves on the edge, or fallen past it. I’ve heard from so many local social service organizations that they’ve never been busier. They’re seeing new faces and families searching for help to meet basic needs, while the needs of those receiving services before COVID-19 are deeper and more urgent than ever.
I’ve spent most of my life in Multnomah County, so I’ve seen how selflessly our community is willing to act in the face of emergencies. I saw it in the extraordinary efforts to keep downtown Portland safe during the flood of 1996. I saw it in the acts of heroism and kindness during the Eagle Creek Fire. And I see it right now in the ways Multnomah County residents are looking out for each other.
As I shared last week, practicing gratitude is one way of regaining some control during times of crisis. So is practicing generosity.
One of the most meaningful ways to show up for our neighbors right now is donating money, time and skills, or supplies to nonprofits on the front lines of helping people impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. If you find yourself with the means and ability, consider supporting local organizations helping vulnerable people and families weather this storm.
So starting with today’s newsletter and through the next few weeks, I want to share some organizations that can use your help right now. This week, I’m focusing on agencies that are providing community members with food resources, including meals, food deliveries, food boxes and food pantries.
The agencies and programs listed below represent only a small segment of the organizations doing critical, urgent work to sustain people who are struggling. Most were working alongside Multnomah County before the crisis, but the recent surge in need due to COVID-19 has strained their resources. Yet they remain as committed as ever to taking care of our neighbors. Let’s find ways to step up for them as they step up for our neighbors.
Multnomah County Chair
Organizations Meeting Food/Nutrition Needs
- Asian Health & Service Center: Working with culturally specific restaurants to provide home-delivered meals.
- Bienestar: Facilitates food boxes with Oregon Food Bank and offers grocery store gift cards.
- Blanchet House: Serves free hot meals.
- El Programa Hispano: Working with culturally specific restaurants to provide home-delivered meals.
- Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization: Working with culturally specific restaurants to provide home-delivered meals.
- Meals on Wheels People: Delivers meals to the homebound elderly.
- Metropolitan Family Services: Offers hunger relief through five food pantries in three local school districts.
- Muslim Educational Trust: Provides basic food necessities to families.
- Native American Youth and Family Center: Currently delivering meals and groceries to Native elders and families who are already enrolled in NAYA services.
- Northeast Emergency Food Program (Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon): Provides free groceries and clothing.
- Oregon Food Bank: Distributes food to regional food banks and food assistance sites across the state.
- Preston’s Pantry (Lift UP): Distributes pre-packed food boxes.
- SnowCap Community Charities: Distributes pre-packed boxes and fresh/frozen food.
- Store to Door: Provides an affordable, personal, volunteer-based grocery shopping and delivery service
- Village Gardens Village Market: Nonprofit market that brings affordable, accessible and healthy food to the New Columbia community.