Here in Northeast Portland, the Northeast Emergency Food Program (NEFP) provides not only food to those in need. The program also has a clothing closet which provides free clothing to men, women and children distributing nearly 50,000 items of clothing annually. In addition to food and clothing when other donations are received such as bedding, kitchen items and toys they are quickly distributed to those in need. The program does not have space to accept furniture donations but is recognized as one of the first Model Healthy Pantries in the state, empowering those in need through a shopping style experience which allows people to choose what they need. Visitors can shop the clothing closet as they wait to shop the food pantry or vice versa. The clothing closet is well organized by 25 volunteers per week and is set up like a shop with areas for each type of clothing as well as shoes and household items.
Give Back to your Community
NEFP serves working families, seniors, people with disabilities, immigrants and refugees, people experiencing homelessness and you, if you need it. The program needs monetary donations and is participating in the Willamette Week’s 2017 Give Guide (a very cool publication and idea meant to engage those under age 35 in donating to those less fortunate) where donations can be made at https://giveguide.org/#neemergencyfoodprogram
Serving 800 families per month NEFP can provide 4 items of clothing per person per visit and 25-30 pounds of food up to 3 times in a 6 month period. There are no residential restrictions and visitors to the pantry can provide proof for non-present household members to obtain needed items. A fear currently exists across Portland that because of needing to enter names into Oregon Food Bank’s Link to Feed database that undocumented immigrants are not accessing services they may need. “Our goal is to feed you, not to report you” states Travis Niemann, Program Manager.
On a recent visit to NEFP, program assistant Cecilia Estraviz shared that donations of children’s costumes were set aside until Halloween season, and were much appreciated by clients and a delight to children. Currently in the clothing closet sorting room a few bins of toys are awaiting the Holiday season, but a noticeable lack of men’s clothing exists. All clothing donations are accepted but the program is currently in need of men’s interview clothes and men’s work wear, as well as all types of winter clothing, rain gear, and socks. The need for appropriate work wear is real. Neimann states “while we do serve people who are hungry right now, most of the families we serve have someone who is working. They have resources, just not enough.”
Located at Luther Memorial Lutheran Church, 4800 NE 72nd Avenue and part of the Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon and a partner agency of the Oregon Food Bank, the Northeast Emergency Food Program http://www.emoregon.org/NE_food_program.php is open for neighbors in need from 1-4pm Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Donations are also accepted during these hours and the program is always open to new volunteers.
Donations will be accepted at the Concordia Neighborhood Association Holiday party on Tuesday, December 12th from 6:30 – 9:00pm at the Cerimon House, 5131 NE 23rd. Donations are certainly welcome as are attendees from anywhere in Northeast Portland. Current donation needs include rice, soup, proteins, personal hygiene items, pet food, winter clothing and work clothing.
I am happy to be volunteering as a part of the Concordia Neighborhood Media Team and enjoy being involved in many volunteer opportunities across Portland. Throughout my life I have helped others in need and have personally helped thousands of children and families through counseling, education, and advocacy. Helping people is what I do. Find out more about me here: https://www.facebook.com/rachelrichardsrealtor/