#GivingTuesday Ideas For Portland

Today is a big day in the world of philanthropy—#GivingTuesday, a global day of generosity and giving. It follows the more consumer-oriented theme days of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, and encourages people to give to organizations and projects they feel passionate about.

There are plenty of places to give here in Portland, so I thought I’d highlight a handful that focus on food and eating. The first two below are large organizations with big goals worth supporting.

Oregon Food Bank. Most of us in Portland are aware of this organization, which is probably the best-known of its kind in the state (and in Clark County, WA). They collect food from a variety of suppliers (e.g., farmers, retailers, individuals) and distribute it to 21 regional food banks around the state as well as 970 partner agencies serving Oregon and Clark County, WA. They make a huge difference—donate here. Also today: Delta Air Lines will match any gift of $25 or more to Oregon Food Bank (up to a maximum of $15,000).

Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon. This is the organization the Feast supports during their four-day festival in September. They “raise awareness about hunger, connect people to nutrition programs, and advocate for systemic changes that end hunger before it begins.” You can read their 2016-18 Strategic Plan for a deeper understanding about the org. You can donate here.

Here are some additional ways to participate today in #GivingTuesday.

Food By Design. This small group in NE Portland has a vision “to create healthy communities that work well, live well, and eat well by working towards creating an equitable food system that offers green jobs, wellness, and connection.” Individuals can participate in their job readiness program in urban farming, join their “Food as Medicine” initiative, and engage in a peer support program that builds connections to people, access to healthy food and mental health/wellness support. They work with underserved communities and are deeply devoted to making people’s lives better in the process.

This year for #GivingTuesday, they are raising funds to replant native trees in areas of the Columbia Gorge affected by the recent fires this past summer. Pretty much everyone I know who loves, eats, cooks, promotes and writes about food in the Portland area was saddened by the fires, and are happy to do what they can to rebuild. Head to Food By Design’s Facebook fundraiser for more information (warning: auto-play video may start). The Gates Foundation is matching donations on Facebook today, too.

Zenger Farm. This working urban farm “models, promotes and educates on sustainable food systems, environmental stewardship, community development and access to good food for all.” Today they are doing a special fundraiser for #GivingTuesday, aiming to raise $1,000 to support scholarships—donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar until midnight tonight. You can donate via Give!Guide (look for Zenger Farm by name or click on the “health” category).  More information.

Virtuous Pie PDX. This vegan pizza joint (1126 SE Division) is supporting the animals this #GivingTuesday, raising money for Green Acres Farm Sanctuary, Vancouver Humane Society, and The Happy Herd Farm Sanctuary. For every pizza you eat there, they will donate $1 to the aforementioned organizations. 11am-10pm today. More information.

Mississippi Business District. Today a number of restaurants, eateries, and shops—e.g., Laughing Planet, Ruby Jewel, Gravy, Little Big Burger, Por Que No—in the area are donating 10% of proceeds to the Boise-Elliot-Humbolt School, a public school in the area. More information.

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Bridgetown Bites is written by Meg Cotner, a food loving freelance writer, editor and published author in Portland, OR.

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