Serving the Hungry in O’Bryant Square, Rain or Shine

Fighting Hunger in Portland.

Rain or shine, 52 weeks a year, hundreds of needy people have a hot meal and a community gathering place because generous supporters like you. Understanding food is a human right and hunger is a human wrong. Every Sunday for twenty-five years Potluck in the Park volunteers have prepared and served healthy wholesome meals with dignity and kindness. The secret to Potluck in the Park’s staying power is the story of its people.  Our tenacious teams of career-volunteers have inspired thousands of other volunteers to donate their time, talent and money to fight hunger in Portland.  Their dedication and passion has made Potluck in the Park a touchstone for a community in crisis

hobo signs

1930’s Hobo Signs

During the Great Depression of the 1930’s “hobo signs” were scratched on pavement or fence posts in front of houses across the country. The symbol of the smiling cat meant, “Kindhearted Woman” – someone who could be counted upon for Smiling Cata friendly word and perhaps a warm meal. In hobo language it was a high complement; today it still is. Potluck in the Park has adopted the smiling cat to symbolize what we stand for: A safe haven, rain or shine. We have been serving warm meals to those in need since 1991.
25th Anniversary BBQCelebrating 25 Years!


BBQ + Resource Fair

Sunday August 28th
Fair: 11-4pm+  BBQ: 2pm
South Park Blocks

Potluck will be celebrating 25 years of service with another big BBQ and Resource Fair on Sunday, August 28th. This is a very special celebration – the last one was our 20th Anniversary in 2011. We will move to the South Park Blocks on the PSU campus for the day to have more room and shade and will be barbecuing on site. Note the special start time of 2pm this Sunday only.

Given the large number of expected guests for this event, we need your help.  Please visit the special Hands On Portland sign-up page that has been created just for the BBQ.
Please share this link via social media and with friends – we still have a large number of volunteer slots and the event is less than 2 weeks away! Please help us to fight hunger in portland at this special event.
There are 3 different shifts available: 
  • Set-Up, 9:00am – 1:00pm – 15 Volunteers needed to help us set up tables, chairs, canopies, etc for the Resource Fair & BBQ.
  • Meal Service, 1:00pm – 5:00pm – 80 Volunteers needed to run food from trucks to serving line, serve food, monitor garbage cans/recycling, and serve water to volunteers.
  • Break Down/Clean Up, 3:00pm – 6:30pm – 15 Volunteers needed to take down tables, chairs, canopies, sort items, recycle, sweep sidewalks and serve late arrivals.

Willamette Week Give Guide

2015 Willamette Week’s Give Guide
begins November 4th.

What is Give!Guide?

Willamette Week’s Give Guide (G!G) is an annual effort to seek to engage young Portlanders in a common cause: supporting dozens of local nonprofits that work to improve life in our community. Created in 2004 to hook Willamette Week readers 35 and younger on the giving habit, this goal remains the primary focus. But the Give!Guide has grown sufficiently since its founding — from $24,000 collected in 2004 to numbers over $3 million last year. Potluck in the Park is honored to be one of only 139 nonprofits in 8 categories, to be chosen to participate this year. The minimum gift can be as small as 10$ so it makes giving for almost everyone affordable. Please help fight hunger in Portland.

What are the “Big Give Days”?

Any donor who makes a minimum gift of $10 through Give!Guide (announced on Facebook) has an opportunity to be chosen at random to win a great incentive prize. This years prizes include Trailblazer tickets & a signed Damian Lillard jersey, $500 Powell’s Books shopping spree, a visit to your school by Timber Joey, a Trek Allant 7.2 bike, and more.  Visit our Facebook Page for Big Give Days!




The Skidmore Prize

Last year G!G raised $3,145,095 with 10,276 individual gifts. Every year, Willamette Week honors four Portlanders 35 and under who do fabulous work for local nonprofits by awarding them the Skidmore Prize. Winners must work at a local nonprofit, be 35 and under, and make $35,000 a year or less. This year’s winners received awards, including prizes of $4,000 each.

How do I participate?

It’s easy!  Just click.  Beginning November 4th, 2015 you can make your donations by visiting


Piano Madness with Tom Grant


Benefiting Potluck in the Park

Saturday, October 22, 2016
Tiffany Center

  • Saturday, October 22, 2016
  • TBA | Doors & Cocktail Hour
  • TBA | Dinner
  • TBA | Entertainment Begins
1410 SW Morrison
Portland, Oregon 97205

Tom Grant

TOM GRANT, master instrumentalist, talented singer and natural entertainer nimbly walks the line between jazz tradition and modern pop. This soft-spoken Oregon native’s inspired songwriting produces propulsive R&B grooves, infectious melodic hooks, and stylish ballads with equal ease. He plays jazz piano with the harmonic sophistication and deep sense of swing that only comes from more than four decades on the bandstand. At the same time, his recordings have consistently landed at the top of the New Adult Contemporary (NAC)/Smooth Jazz charts, a genre of music Tom helped pioneer in the mid-80s.

As the Pacific Northwest’s most renowned musical artist, Tom Grant’s career achievements reflect his unique ability to embrace the full spectrum of contemporary music. Born to show business parents, Tom was at home with many musical instruments, but always returned to the piano. At a tender age, he was taught to play piano and drums by his tap dancer father. Later, he learned about music styles listening to music at his father’s record store in Portland, Oregon. His brother, an avant-garde jazz pianist, introduced him to the many different facets of jazz music.

After graduating from the University of Oregon and a short stint as a high school teacher, Tom answered his musical calling. Native American saxophonist Jim Pepper took Tom to New York in 1970 to record the chant classic Witchi-tai-to. After that, he toured and recorded with such jazz greats as Woody Shaw, Joe Henderson, Charles Lloyd and Tony Williams. Since 1983, Tom’s records have repeatedly topped the Smooth Jazz charts. Several, including the popular Mango Tango, Night Charade, In My Wildest Dreams, and The View from Here, enjoyed lengthy stays at Number One.

Tom’s music has been a staple of terrestrial and internet radio both in the U.S. and around the world. His compositions are also used in TV and Films worldwide. He has been featured on CNN and the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Tom is also a tireless worker for humanitarian and charitable causes. He has a scholarship established in his name by the United Negro College Fund. In 1999 Tom was also given the Humanitarian Award for Dedication to Music, Health and Children by the New York Presbyterian Hospital/Cornell Medical Center.

More recently he has dedicated himself to numerous charity projects for the under-funded public schools in the Northwest, Potluck in the Park*, a charity that feeds hungry people in the Portland area, and the Edwards Center for handicapped adults. In 2001, Tom started recording on his own record label, Nu-Wrinkle Records. After nearly 35 years of recording on various labels (Windham Hill, Verve, Shanachie, PAUSA, Gaia, WMOT, Timeless International, Chase Music) he felt it was time to explore the world of self-produced music. In 2013, he has undertaken new projects by other artists.

*Tom has been a Potluck supporter for over 20 years, bringing food to the park even before being asked to play for our first Christmas Dinner. He has performed for our Christmas Dinner guests very nearly all of the 21 years we have served. This fundraising concert was Tom’s idea in 2007 as a CD release party. In addition to performing, he is our artistic director and has booked the talent for all of these 9 years.

Our VOLUNTEERS speak out.

Please take a few moments to watch this short video and learn more about Potluck in the Park.