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Portland International Airport (PDX) concessionaries, Port of Portland and St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP), are partnering to fight hunger in the Portland metro area by donating extra food to local residents.
The new food donation program at PDX collects and distributes unsold, ready-to-eat food products such as sandwiches, salads, parfaits, baked goods, and uncut produce to residents served by SVdP of Portland.
Graduate students from the Community Environmental Services group at Portland State University facilitated research and development of the program.
Going strong in only its second month of operation, the program has collected nearly 2,760 pounds of high-quality food, which provided more than 1,830 meals since February 4.
Due to the increase of participating concessionaires at PDX, a second commercial-size refrigerator was donated for additional storage to accommodate three pick-up days each week.
“We are proud to sponsor St. Vincent de Paul and feel honored for the opportunity to help fight hunger in our community,” says Stan Jones, Port aviation environmental compliance manager. “We are pleased to get this extra food to the people who need it most.”
Serving more than 385,000 hungry families for more than 140 years, SVdP of Portland also offers assistance with cost of living, clothing, education, outreach, and advocacy, in addition to emergency food boxes and community meals.
Last year, SVdP provided more than half a million dollars in assistance to Oregon residents.
Participating agencies include City Team Ministries that provides immediate-use food items for in-house shelter meals; Northwest Family Services that provides meals for high-risk families and after-school care for at-risk children; and SVdP’s mobile kitchen, a decommissioned school bus converted into a full-service kitchen with covered seating and tables that feeds an average of 400 residents each week in outlying, unincorporated communities.
“It’s our mission to offer support, compassion, and dignity in all forms to those who need it most,” says Paul Kresek, SVdP director of food programs and volunteer services. “We work hard to improve our resident’s present state and guide them on the road to greater independence and self-sufficiency.”