PCS Blog

“Everyone Needs To Eat” – Urban Gleaners

Posted by Shana | 29 January 2013

Portland Center Stage partnered with students from Portland State University’s Arts Advocacy class to create a series of blogs about non-profits working to end hunger. The students visited the organizations, interviewed staff, and wrote blogs about their experience from a personal perspective. These blogs will be featured right here, during the run of I Love to Eat. Our second installment features the Urban Gleaners, from the perspective of guest blogger Matthew Griffith.

“If you can’t feed a hundred people then just feed one.

This quote, from the venerable Mother Teresa, defines the mission of the Urban Gleaners. The Urban Gleaners mission is to fight the war on hunger by collecting and distributing edible surplus food. This food they collect would normally be thrown away. To be written off as a loss and forgotten. By collecting this “to be tossed away” food they arm themselves with the weapons to fight hunger. Though they say that the program does not address the root causes of poverty and the like, as the Mother Teresa quote says, “If you can’t feed a hundred people then just feed one.” Or to paraphrase…every little bit helps.
I myself know of the good that groups like the Urban Gleaners provide. Though I did not receive assistance from the Urban Gleaners, gleaners programs have helped my family. There were days where some in my family wondered whether they would have anything to eat that night. During a time where money was hard to come by, the gleaners provided a glimmer of hope. It wasn’t just the food they provided. Though the food was most definitely welcome and appreciated. It was knowing that someone, somewhere understood. It was knowing we would eat that night. It gave my family confidence that things could get better. That they would get better. For some people, they may not understand this, and that is okay. They may not understand that to some people, something as little as a single meal can have such a big impact on a family's life. Urban Gleaners…they understand.


So what can a person do to help? You could volunteer! Volunteers help pick up and distribute the food. Some even do this by bike! How cool and Portland-y is that?! If you do not have the time, you could always donate some cash. Remember…every little bit helps!
For more information, visit Urbangleaners.org
Please take part in Portland Center Stage's food drive throughout the run of I Love to Eat. More information about the food drive can be found here.
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