Souper Bowl of Caring: Preston’s Food Pantry lifts spirits, tackles Portland hunger

Vegas NYE

LAS VEGAS (KOIN) — At Preston’s Pantry in southwest Portland, Oregon volunteers are working together to tackle hunger.

Lift Up, the organization that runs the pantry has served downtown and the Northwest for four decades. The pantry provides fresh and healthy food to more than 1,200 people each year.

“We are a vital part of a community. We’re a neighbor you know you can count on,” said Stephanie Barr, Lift Up executive director.

With COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, it has been a year like no other.

“We’re in a hunger crisis and we’re seeing an increase in need especially from people that have never come to the pantry before,” added Barr. “We have more families that are coming.”

According to Feed America, one in eight people struggle with hunger in Oregon.

Lift Up, like many food pantries, has had to adapt to help fill the increased need.

“With COVID we’ve had to move outside, we set up fresh food and the canned goods we pack up back here,” said Stephanie Barr, Lift Up executive director.

Barr says another challenge they are experiencing is a distribution in food sourcing.

“Typically we glean food, to make sure that food doesn’t go to waste, and now we’ve had to purchase more food than ever before,” Barr said. “We cannot do what we do without community support.”

She says donated food and funds makes a huge difference for the pantry and that kind of support is needed more than ever for food pantries.

You can help raise one million meals for the “Souper Bowl of Caring” at Preston’s Pantry by visiting their website to learn more about how you can help.

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