In a year when a terrifyingly large number of people struggled to get by, Portlanders decided to step up.
People donated and distributed tents, warm clothes and respirators to filter out tear gas and wildfire smoke. Food pantries sprung up around the city, and citizens formed nonprofits, coalitions and ad hoc networks to get supplies to people who needed them most. Previously existing groups expanded their reach, or simply proved how valuable they already were.
There's obviously a lot more to be done to meet the basic needs of people living in this city. But at least Portlanders aren't waiting around for someone else to do the work. Here are just a few ways Portlanders have been working to take care of each other:
Portland Free Fridge
At over two-dozen refrigerators stationed around the city, neighbors can stock what they can afford to give away or take what they need, from home-cooked meals to pantry staples and even toiletries.
Initially founded to distribute food and supplies at protests, Snack Bloc now does everything from tent drives to activist movie nights. But it still hands out free food, too.
Equitable Giving Circle
Along with giving out plants and care packages to Black Portlanders, Equitable Giving Circle has a free community-supported agriculture program for BIPOC families. The CSA shares are bought from BIPOC-owned farms with money raised from grants and community contributions.
Fires Igniting the Spirit
After tirelessly providing supplies to Native tribes affected by last fall's wildfires, Fires Igniting the Spirit, founded by Jason Umutuch of the Confederated Tribes of Warms Springs, recently started a food box delivery program for Indigenous families.
Urban Gleaners holds free food markets several days a week and in multiple locations around the city. The organization gets its food from individual donors as well as Portland restaurants—which means the meals and ingredients up for grabs often come from local culinary institutions like Han Oak and Olympia Provisions.
See all 24 Reasons to Still Love Portland here!