PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — “Hunger was a crisis before the pandemic. Hunger is an extra big crisis now, and hunger will be a crisis in the coming months,” said Susannah Morgan, the CEO of the Oregon Food Bank. “So we really urge people who are in need of food assistance to come and please ask and find a place that works for you.”
To make the search for food easier, the Oregon Food Bank developed a new and improved Food Finder that will connect anyone in our area with a food pantry, outdoor market or meal center near you.
“You put in your zip code on OregonFoodFinder.org and it will tell you what food assistance sites are close to you and what is going to be open, what hours,” Morgan said.
You can also narrow your search by days of the week, times and the types of food available.
For many in Southeast Portland, FoodFinder leads them to the Portland Open Bible Community Pantry. The church opened the pantry in 2014, allowing people to shop the shelves similar to a grocery store.
“When COVID hit, of course like everyone else, we took our pantry outside,” said Executive Director Betty Brown. She said the pantry shifted to pre-made boxes for safety.
“Every Tuesday we make boxes for people,” Brown told KOIN 6 News. “These are our vegetable boxes that you see here. So everybody who comes to our pantry gets a vegetable box and a stapled box.”
And once a week, about 100 families line up to receive a box of fresh fruits, vegetables and shelf stable foods.
“But about 60% of the people that we see are the elderly. And because I am a nurse, I was thinking, how in the world, when the winter comes, are we going to have these elderly individuals standing outside in a line?”
So the pantry created an online ordering system available in multiple languages.
“We want it to make it so that you can order online and you can choose the food that you want for your family,” she said. “Just like when you walk through here, we wanted the people online to have the exact same choices that the people who walk up have.”
With the support of your donations and the Oregon Food Bank, the Portland Open Bible Community Pantry continues to grow and serve people in need right here in our community.
“We know that we’re going to have more people coming in for food. We want to be available for these people,” Brown said. “And so, yes, any donation that you can give to us is going to help meet the need that’s out there.”