On Sunday, Oct. 23, eight of Portland Mercado's ten food carts were damaged, and six experienced break-ins.

Inventory, cash, equipment and personal items were stolen. The total damage is estimated at $25,000, not including the loss in sales many carts will experience.

The Portland Mercado, located on SE 72nd Avenue and Foster Road, is a collective of 19 start-ups that make up the first Latino public market in Portland. It's also home to a Mexican candy store, indoor grocery store, beer and wine shop and piñateria. They're a project of Hacienda, a local non-profit community development organization. It's also home to some of the most delicious arroz mixto and tamales in town.

Yesterday, the only carts that were able to open were Don Churro and Fernando's Alegria, and the indoor businesses. According to their fundraiser page, the loss hits especially hard because food cart business slows in the fall and winter months.

Portland Mercado has set up an online donation system to support losses, but want to reiterate that more than ever, patronage matters now.

The site list specific ways to support them, including coming in to eat, attending their Dia de Los Muertos Weekend celebration, donating money online or booking your holiday parties with them. They're also hosting a comedy show at 8 pm tonight.

GO: 7238 SE Foster Rd., 477-9945. 10 am-9 pm daily.