Who We Are

The Food Project was started in a small Southern Oregon town called Ashland in January 2009 by a group of residents who wanted to make it easy for people to donate food to the Ashland Emergency Food Bank. They realized that many of their neighbors wanted to help fight hunger but for one reason or another never get around to it. So they created a simple door-to-door food collection system to enable them to pitch in.

 They had three goals:

  1. To provide a regular supply of food to our hungry neighbors
  2. To create new neighborhood connections and strengthen our community
  3. To serve as a model for other communities

Armed with brochures that proclaimed, “You want to help, We want to make it easy!,” Ashland Food Project volunteers canvassed their own neighborhoods, knocking on doors and inviting their neighbors to participate. Whenever people said “Yes,” AFP volunteers suggested that they buy just one extra nonperishable food item each week, and store it at home. The volunteers promised to stop by their homes every 2 months, pick the food up and take it directly to the food bank.

The project started with a core group of 10 volunteers picking up food. About a year later, there were over 150 in 3 different towns. The first Pickup Day, in 2009, netted about 600 pounds of food. By December, 2011, they were picking up more than 36,000 lbs. county-wide, every two months.

There are now 50 communities across the U.S., including 4 in MA, 1 in FL, 1 in AL, 1 in LA, 1 in NC, 5 in AZ, 1 in MD, 1 in VT, 1 in KY and many throughout the Pacific Northwest.

There are 4 food projects in the Greater Portland Metro area: Portland, Milwaukie, Beaverton/Hillsboro and a new one which started this summer (2017) in Vancouver, WA.

The Portland Food Project was founded by Richard Nudelman in S.E. Portland in 2012 with 14 donors contributing 237 lbs. of food to our initial 2 food pantry partners.

We are now the Portland Food Project, crossing bridges and Burnside collecting over 100,000 lbs. of food from over 1,600 donors 2017.

We are honored that you would consider becoming a part of this program, sharing
food with neighbors and building a stronger community. It is our hope that as a volunteer with the Portland Food Project, you will have fun, grow, get to know your neighbors, and feel generally good about yourself and your town.

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2019 Pickup Dates:

  • Saturday, February 9th
  • Saturday, April 13th
  • Saturday, June 8th
  • Saturday, August 10th
  • Saturday, October 12th
  • Saturday, December 14th

Most Needed Items:

Non-Perishable Food

  • Peanut Butter
  • Tuna
  • Cooking Oil
  • Pasta
  • Cereal
  • Hearty Soups
  • Canned Meat
  • Canned Fruit
  • Canned Beans
  • Dried Beans
  • Pinto Beans
  • Canned Corn
  • Masa
  • Brown Rice
  • Long Grain White Rice
  • Plain Stewed Tomatoes
  • Fruit Cocktail
  • Side Dishes
  • Soy Milk
  • Canned Milk
  •  Protein
  • Vegetables
  • Side Dishes (Hamburger Helper, Rice-a-Roni, etc.)

Especially for Seniors

  • Dried Fruits
  • Ready made jell-o & pudding
  • Ensure protein drinks
  • Low-sodium Pull-tab Soups
  • Low-sodium Single-
    Serving Meals
  • Low-sodium Crackers
  • Green Tea (regular and decaf)
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Hard Candies

Non-Food Items

  • Toilet Paper
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Soap