PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Nonprofit organization Blanchet House has had to change the way they serve the Portland community during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it hasn’t stopped for 100 days.
According to a spokesperson, Blanchet House is serving around 10,000 meals to the homeless and food insecure per week – double what it was serving prior to the health crisis – out of its location on Northwest Glisan.
The nonprofit converted its cafeteria into a to-go operation in mid-March in order to continue to meet the need.
Executive Director Scott Kerman told FOX 12 he’s extremely grateful to the volunteers that continue to show up week after to week to cook and distribute meals. Even local chefs and restaurant employees are getting involved, like culinary giant Chef Gregory Gourdet of Departure restaurant, who helped distribute meals this week.
Kerman also gave a big thanks to donors, as he said Blanchet House is going through more resources now than ever before. Kerman explained that individual meals, which used to cost 33 cents to prepare and serve, now cost $5 due to the need to purchase disposable utensils and takeout containers.
In addition, Kerman said Blanchet House is seeing new faces it hasn’t served before.
“We’re feeding a lot of food insecure,” Kerman said. “These are people who have shelter or maybe they’re sheltering in their car, but they don’t have enough money for food to last through the week, and we never really used to feed that community before.”
Blanchet House is also delivering food to the three emergency camps that have opened up in Portland.
While 100 days of service is certainly something to celebrate, Kerman brought up a more eye-opening perspective: for people living on the streets, that’s 100 days without easy access to indoor spaces, or places to shower or do laundry.
For more information on how to volunteer or donate, visit Blanchet House’s website.
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