Again, ‘Parkrose Steps Up’ with food pantry

See how volunteers in outer East Portland make this ‘pop-up food pantry’ a fun community event, instead of being just another ‘bread line’ …

Waving hello while helping out at the second “Parkrose Steps Up” food pantry are these cheerful volunteers.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

A sunny day greeted a band of volunteers who call themselves “Parkrose Steps Up” for their second pop-up food pantry event, held on August 1 –  again in the front parking lot area of Parkrose Hardware, along NE Sandy Boulevard.

In addition to groceries – which included some fresh food, soups, household necessities, and pet food – the event was tuneful, thanks to live music provided by the group called “SwingTime”.

Delivering groceries to another family’s minivan is volunteer Rachel Black.

“It’s true; although I organize this, I can only do it with the help of all these people here,” remarked Terry Murphy, as he took a break from being the band’s drummer.

“I can’t believe how fast the food is going out this time,” Murphy told East Portland News. “Last month we put together 200 bags; and this month, we put together 350 bags and, after about 90 minutes, a lot of them are gone!
“What this tells me is that people need to eat; people are hurting, and need food, right here in our own neighborhood,” he added.

Singer Lana Shea croons another great ballad accompanied by the band “SwingTime”.

The reason for having the band present, he said, is, “We don’t want this to be like a ‘soup line’, where people feel sad or uncomfortable about coming; so we’re making this a celebration of joy and generosity!”

The day of the food pantry, more than 20 volunteers – all doing their best to socially-distance, and wearing face coverings – were on hand to help.

Many hands make for light work; volunteers pitch in to help neighbors who need a little assistance in order to survive the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in Parkrose.

“The other day, when we were in the back room of the Parkrose Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, packing the boxes and bags, another 25 or so people came to help out. Now they’re all showing up here, because they want to be ‘doing  the right thing’ for their community. This is Parkrose Steps Up; this is what it’s all about!” Murphy smiled.

Parkrose Steps Up represents a combination of efforts from the Historic Parkrose Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative, and the Parkrose Neighborhood Association.

Honor roll of sponsors:

Parkrose Grocery Outlet Bargain Market
Portland Police Bureau Sunshine Division
Heritage Specialty Foods ~ Parkrose Hardware
Oregon Food Bank Network ~ Signs Now NW
Historic Parkrose ~ Blazing Stitches Embroidery
Inkberry Print & Promotional ~ Dollar Tree

© 2020 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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