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Food Pantry Closes as Need Surges

[August 19, 2023]

The food pantry at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church has shut down after four years. At the onset of the COVID pandemic the food program began and grew to serve 50-100 families per week.

The announcement came in late July that as of August 1 the weekly food distribution program would end, despite ongoing need: "To be clear, nobody thinks that it is no longer needed! We are working diligently to find a new home for the program with another faith organization or community service." Church representatives ask that any interested groups contact the parish office at (503) 246-1949.

As the service wound down in July, St. Barnabas volunteers collected contact information in order to contact food market customers when a new plan is in place.

At the same time, Neighborhood House reported in its August e-newsletter that first-time use of its food pantry, which remains open, surged in July: "More than 1240 households were served during July, a 45% increase over the previous month, with an 8% increase in first-time usage."

Neighborhood House food pantry program manager Jim Cooper is quoted as saying, "It's a challenge. The low food supply and the limitations of our current space affect our ability to serve everyone in need, but so far, we've been up to the task."

Find information on how to access the Neighborhood House free food program or how to donate here. Positive Charge! PDX organizes weekly food donation pick-ups throughout SW Portland neighborhoods. Learn more here.

--Valeurie Friedman


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