Project Access NOW is partnering with three Portland-based hunger-relief organizations – New Avenues for Youth, Blanchet House, and Adelante Mujeres – to put resources from a canceled fundraising gala to good use. Prepaid catering credits from Project Access NOW’s cancelled event, which would otherwise have gone unused due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions surrounding social gatherings in Oregon, will now be donated to these organizations for distribution to low-income and houseless community members.
After the cancellation of its fundraising gala, originally scheduled for March 13, 2020, Project Access NOW was left with $36,000 in non-refundable catering credits. Says Janet Hamilton, its Deputy Director, “Immediately, we knew the cancelled gala could be an opportunity to try something new. At a time when the most vulnerable members of our community have been disproportionately impacted by the economic and social impacts of COVID-19, we knew we needed to think creatively about addressing hunger as a key indicator of health.”
- New Avenues for Youth, as part of its mission to address and prevent youth homelessness in Portland, will use the donation to provide weekly meals to their Drop-In Center, Transitional Housing program and a safe space for young people identifying as LGBTQIA.
- Blanchet House will use the donation to provide dinner for more than five-hundred residents as part of its mission to address and prevent adult homelessness in Portland.
- Adelante Mujeres will focus on help for low-income Latina women and their families. The donation will be used to deliver holiday meals to area families.
Says Lauren Eads, Development Director at New Avenues for Youth, “We are grateful for the support from Project Access NOW to provide meals throughout our programs for the month of December. This generous gift will provide one-hundred meals each week…serving youth currently experiencing homelessness.”
The organization credits its gala sponsors with maintaining support of Project Access NOW, and the community it serves, during this difficult and unusual year. Says Dr. Jennie Leslie, Board Chair at Project Access NOW, “Not only have our partners – Adventist Health, Kaiser Permanente, Legacy Health, Oregon Health and Science University, and Providence Health and Services – been at the frontlines of the COVID-19 response as healthcare providers and researchers, they are also ‘paying it forward’ through this initiative. Our generous sponsors are key to the work we do – including this new, and much needed, hunger initiative.”
The project sponsors include: Adventist Health Portland, Kaiser Permanente, Legacy Health Oregon Health and Science University, Providence Health and Services, Cambia Health Foundation, CareOregon, Stoel Rives LLP, Health Plans in Oregon, Linda Nilsen Consulting, and Linguava Interpreters.
Project Access NOW’s canceled gala, largest annual fundraising initiative, was a casualty of early (and necessary) COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings. This has resulted in a significant loss of income for the nonprofit organization. To make a donation toward the work of Project Access NOW, visit: www.projectaccessnow.org/donate
Vibrant Table staff member Marcy prepares food to be distributed to hunger relief efforts in Portland.
Vibrant Table staff member Cesar prepares food to be distributed to hunger relief efforts in Portland.