The Association of Catering and Event Professionals Proudly
Supports Potluck in the Park - 10+ Years
Potluck in the Park
Is a secular grass roots organization that for over 12 years has provided a free meal to anyone in need every Sunday afternoon, 52 weeks a year, rain or shine at O’Bryant Square in Portland . Weekly attendance ranges from 300-600 low income elderly, working poor, unemployed families, homeless adults, and street kids. All the servers are volunteers, many of which represent area schools, service organizations, and churches. Most of the food comes from individuals, service organizations, and religious institutions of all faiths, who cook up a casserole, make a pot of soup, or assemble salads and bring their donation down to the park each week. Their gifts are supplemented with donations gathered on a weekly basis from area grocers, wholesalers, restaurants, and caterers. Some of our community partners include the YWCA, Loaves and Fishes Center (the Meals on Wheels people), Street Lights, Clark Center , Volunteers of America and others.
In Addition to our Weekly Meal
Potluck sponsors two special events. Our Anniversary Bar-B-Que provides a taste of summer; including choices of grilled entrees (all donated), corn on the cob, salads, and birthday cake to as many as 2200 hungry members of our community. Potluck in the Park also sponsors a Holiday Dinner, which provides a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings, gifts of toiletries and warm clothing, an opportunity to phone loved ones out of town and a bit of holiday cheer for over 900 people on Christmas Day.
All Volunteer Organization
Potluck is a completely volunteer organization that maintains no offices and pays no salaries. All donations go directly toward providing meals to the hungriest members of our community. Even though a substantial part of our food is donated, we still have cash expenses: food to supplement donations, beverages, disposable tableware, kitchen supplies for sanitation, insurance for our truck (which was donated), equipment for special events, and a newsletter to keep us connected to out thousand plus volunteers. As you know, more people in Oregon are experiencing hunger on a daily basis. The increased need has depleted our already slim bank account, and we have little left to supply our needs for the rest of the year.
• To provide free hot meals and a community gathering place to anyone in need.
• To treat our guests with dignity, respect, friendliness and kindness with the hope that this helps build their self-esteem and enables them to have a better quality of life and improve themselves.
• To provide resource information that directs our guests to other needed assistance.
• To provide a setting for a Holiday Dinner where people who would otherwise be alone can come and feel like they are at home as part of our large family on Christmas Day.
Formed in 1991
As a grassroots organization serving home prepared food to low income elderly, working poor, homeless adults, and street kids 52 weeks per year, rain or shine.
Serves 25,000 people
In the Portland Metropolitan area per year on a current budget of approximately $20,000.
52 Weeks a Year
Rain or shine, at O’Bryant Square in Downtown Portland, and also sponsors an annual summer BBQ and winter Holiday dinner.
All Volunteer Servers
Most of the food comes from direct donations of food or food purchased by cash donations, and prepared by Potluck volunteers.
David Utzinger, Director/Coordinator
Is the recipient of the Marvin Windows and Doors 2003 ‘Yellow Rose’ Regional Recognition Award. The program recognizes building industry professionals who pursue excellence in their work while promoting the advancement of their community.
Portland Monthly Magazine - September 2005
Recognized Potluck in the Park regarding the recent challenges they face in continuing to provide free meals.
Multnomah County Environmental Health Services
Restricts Potluck in the Park from using food that is prepared in the home. This has substantially impacted the program.
Potluck in the Park
Is a 501 c(3) organization, and donations are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law.