[Posted July 16, 2021]
In June of 2020 Positive Charge! PDX (PC! PDX) initiated its “One Can Wednesday” food collection program in several SW Portland neighborhoods. Since then, the nonprofit reports that its volunteer teams have collected nearly 26,500 pounds of non-perishable food for donations to Neighborhood House Food Pantry for distribution to neighbors in need. The quantity translates into 31,760 meals. According to their records, Neighborhood House assisted over 9,000 people during the last year.
The concept is simple: those wishing to donate leave one can of food near their mailbox on their usual garbage/recycling pick-up day. Volunteers, sometimes with Red Flyer wagons and/or children in tow, collect the donations and deliver them to Neighborhood House.
Local businesses have joined in to provide additional donation sites, making it possible to donate food to the program seven days a week. Public collection bins are available at Basics Market in Hillsdale, Driftwood Coffee on SW Vermont Street, and Village Coffee in Multnomah Village.
As the program has expanded, the name has adapted depending upon the particular garbage/recycling pickup day—Montmore Monday and Two Can Tuesday.
Positive Charge! PDX founders Sallie Cohen and Ruthie Matinko-Wald say, “Food insecurity has been a focus of PC! PDX since its founding in 2016. According to the Oregon Food Bank, one in five neighbors are food insecure. Portland Parks & Recreation reports that, during the school year, 57% of young Portlanders qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. Without school lunches, summer becomes the time when nearly 50,000 Portland children face hunger daily.”
To learn more about how to replicate the One Can Wednesday project in a neighborhood, school, or place of business, see www.PositiveChargePDX.org for step-by-step instructions.
Are there organized One Can collections in Hillsdale? Let us know.