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November 13, 2008

NWPM Emergency Food Program: More Space, New Process

From the Fall 2008 Newsletter: As you probably know, Northwest Portland Minstries adopted an emergency food bank program last December. We’ve been running it “as-is” this year, as we learned more about how food banks work and about what our community needs. We are now gearing up to make significant improvements and changes.

In November 2008, the NWPM Food Bank distribution center moves to a bigger space in First Immanuel Lutheran Church’s campus at 1808 NW Irving Street.

This new location gives us the opportunity to change to a “choice-based model,” which means that recipients will choose what they need instead of being given a pre-packaged food box.

Research has shown that when food bank programs use a choice model for food distribution, the system runs at a much lower cost, meets hunger needs better and more efficiently, respects recipients’ individuality, preserves their dignity, and gives them more food choices.

As part of this evolution, there will be a staffing change. Kelly Caldwell, the NWPM Volunteer Program Manager, and Preston Holt, longtime volunteer, board member, and chair of the NWPM Nutrition Program Steering Committee, will share the job of coordinating the program.

This change will bring an increased need for volunteer help, both during the transition and on a weekly basis. In the short term we will need people with carpentry and organizing skills to help get our new space set up and running.

We need three volunteers per shift to staff the food bank during open hours. For the time being, the distribution center will continue to be open every Tuesday and Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and on the fourth Monday of the month from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.

We also need volunteers to stock the shelves and to work at our warehouse on Mondays and Thursdays at 11:00 a.m.—or at another time arranged with the coordinators.

We also need help organizing food drives at local congregations and businesses.

If you are interested in contributing or
volunteering, contact Kelly or Preston by
phone at 503-221-1224 or by e-mail: or

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