People line up in the rain for opening of new Sunshine Division - KPTV - FOX 12

People line up in the rain for opening of new Sunshine Division pantry

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

More than 20 people waited in a line in the rain Wednesday morning for the opening of a new pantry ran by the Sunshine Division in southeast Portland.

Most came for one thing - food. Deanna Iverson was once homeless but now lives in low-income housing. She told FOX 12 she receives some public assistance but still needs help the pantry can provide with getting food on the table.

“I get $87 a month in food stamps and I am on SSI, but this would help for Thanksgiving,” she said. “I have no turkey… this year. I came here in hopes…”

Portland Police Bureau officials said the Sunshine Division opened this new pantry in outer southeast Portland because they are seeing a growing number of poor families move into this part of the city.

They said 75 percent of the children in this part of the city qualify for free and reduced lunches at their local schools. The new pantry on Southeast Stark near 124th Avenue is the first expansion in the Sunshine Division's 94-year history.

The non-profit expects to serve about 10,000 people with the new facility, from families to seniors, veterans and the disabled.

Linda Christensen told FOX 12 she moved to Portland from eastern Oregon to help with her mother and a disabled brother.

“They’re struggling, too,” she said while waiting In line. "It's tough for everybody right now. Including me."

The food is donated by local grocery stores, and the clothes are used and donated by members of the public. The new pantry will be open every Wednesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The Sunshine Division was started by Portland Police Officers who wanted to help struggling families back in the early 20th century and they are still doing that job today almost 100 years later.

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