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

A Great Success! 

Thank you to all who have participated in the 2016 Give Guide.  Your donations have exceeded our goals and contributed to another fantastic year at Potluck in the Park.


What is Give!Guide?

Willamette Week’s Give Guide (G!G) is Portland’s easiest path to year-end giving. G!G showcases small, medium and large organizations whose missions fall into eight categories: Animals, Civil & Human Rights, Creative Expression, Community, Education, Environment, Health & Wellness and Human Services. In thirteen years, G!G has raised over $16 million for hundreds of local nonprofits. Last year, WW readers gave $3,501,400 to 143 Portland organizations and the Oregon Cultural Trust.

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 (on days listed below) has an opportunity to be chosen at random to win a great incentive prize. Over the past few years, G!G has experienced significant giving on these days. Last year, these four days raised over $887,650 combined. Examples of incentives: a bicycle; a ping pong party ice cream party for 80; a case of distilled spirits.

Nov. 3 – Portland Trail Blazers – 2 lower-level tickets to 2 games and a signed jersey from C.J. McCollum.
Nov. 10 – Powells Books – $500 Shopping Spree.
Nov. 17 – Portland Thorns & Timbers – 4 tickets to a 2017 Portland Timbers home match with a team signed jersey and 4 scarves. 10 tickets to a 2017 Portland Thorns home match, postgame autograph passes and a team signed jersey. 10 tickets to a 2016 Portland Timbers2 home match.
Nov. 29 – Bike Gallery – Bike Giveaway.
Dec. 8 – Salt & Straw and Pip’s & Bounce – Salt & Straw ice cream party for 60 people at Pip’s & Bounce ping pong bar.
Dec. 15 – TBA

Visit our Facebook page for updates


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 $35,000 a year or less. This year there are 2 prizes (1500 & 500$) to the non-profit in each category with  the most donors 35 & under.

How do I participate?

It’s easy!  Just click.  Be watching for links to the 2017 Give!Guide coming in November of 2017.


Piano Madness with Tom Grant

2016 Piano Madness with Tom Grant,

Join us at Portland’s classic Tiffany Center on Saturday, October 22, 2016 from 6PM to 10PM for dinner and a show featuring five of Portland’s legendary performers!

Featuring: Tom Grant, Michael Allen Harrison, Mac Potts, Bill Wadhams (from the 80s hit band Animotion), Shelly Rudolph, and special guest performers The Portland Youth Jazz Orchestra

All proceeds benefit Potluck in the Park and support our mission to nourish and enrich Portland’s individuals in need.

Margie BEmcee: Margie Boule
Tickets available at:
Buy Tickets NOW
Ticket pricing:

$75 – 2 drinks, appetizers, dinner, show
$45 – 1 drink, appetizers, show

Table and sponsorship options available. For more information, contact If you can’t attend, please consider making a donation.


  • Saturday, October 22, 2016
  • 5:30 PM | Doors & Cocktail Hour
  • 6:45 PM | Dinner
  • 7:15 PM | Entertainment Begins
1410 SW Morrison
Portland, Oregon 97205

Michael Allen HarrisonSince releasing his first commercially available album, 1986’s Tea Court Interlude, Portland’s Michael Allen Harrison has built a reputation as a prolific and stylistically diverse pianist. Between 1992 and 2016 Harrison released nearly 50 albums on his own MAH label. His recorded work has ranged from film music to ballet compositions and from Gershwin interpretations to Christmas themes. He has managed to combine his musical career with his vigorous and far-reaching philanthropic activities, which include the Snowman Foundation and his Ten Grands concerts which have benefited young aspiring musicians throughout the Northwest.
Mac PottsMac Potts is a 25 year-old blind pianist/musician who is already a veteran of stages from the Northwest to New Orleans. Mac first learned his blues chops from prominent Portland blues musicians. He has been playing professionally since the age of 11. Mac has traveled to New Orleans each of the last ten years for Jazz Fest where he has jammed with some of the great blues players of the Crescent City. Locally, he has appeared often at Portland’s Waterfront Blues Festival. His technical virtuosity and powerful singing have made him a crowd favorite in clubs and concert settings all over the northwest.
Tom GrantTom Grant has had nearly 50 years in the music business as a pianist, songwriter, singer (and lately) record label owner. In the 80’s, his smooth jazz records went to the top of the SJ charts where they stayed for weeks at a time. He has toured the world with his music, appeared on the Jay Leno show, was featured on CNN, recorded 27 of his own records/CD’s and his original music is can be heard in film and tv. Before his own recording career took off, Tom toured with drum legend Tony Williams. He also toured/recorded with jazz greats Joe Henderson, Woody Shaw and Charles Lloyd.
Bill WBill Wadhams is best known as the lead singer of the hit band, Animotion. Their new album, “Raise Your Expectations” is due out in November on the UK label, Invisible Hands Music. The worldwide success of their iconic 80s hit, “Obsession” continues to provide opportunities to connect with fans of the genre. Recently, he’s played shows with the Human League, A Flock of Seagulls, The Thompson Twins, Wang Chung and others. An acclaimed actor, Bill sang the role of Dan in the musical Next to Normal for Artists Rep Theater in Portland in 2012. His local band, Bill Wadhams and Friends, can often be seen at McMenamins venues.
Shelly RudolphShelly is a practitioner of everything soulful in many musical genres. A strong and sultry singer/songwriter with a sense of adventure and a desire for emotional truth, this girl rocks.  As “a robust and captivating vocalist” (Jazz Times), she has dazzled audiences around the globe from Japan, Korea, The West Indies, New York, Los Angeles and Portland which she now calls home. Since returning to her native Northwest, she has pursued a rigorous schedule of performing, recording and songwriting with local luminaries such as Tom Grant and Pink Martini’s Phil Baker. She is currently working on a collaborative project with New Age legend, David Darling.
Portland Youth JazzThe Portland Youth Jazz Orchestra has trained musicians from the Portland Metro Area since 2001. It is the pet project of Portland musician Ben Medler who works tirelessly with his students in a small rehearsal space in Southwest Portland. Many PYJO alumni have gone on to earn scholarships to prestigious music schools across the country. After 15 years, Ben remains committed to the idea of bringing this original American art form of Jazz to young people willing to put in the time to practice and study its.

Annual Free Christmas Dinner POTLUCK IN THE PARK


Ballroom view of Christmas Dinner

Each year Potluck in the Park hosts an annual
free Christmas Dinner.
Location is the Portland Art Museum.
Our meal is served Christmas Day, December 25th.

Brother and Sister at Christmas DinnerMother and Daughter at Christmas Dinner

We are honored to partner with Potluck in the Park to host a Free Christmas Dinner again this year.  When Potluck in the Park leadership approached the Museum three years ago to host the annual event, due to the closing of the YWCA, we knew it was something we wanted to do.  The Portland Art Museum aspires to be a resource for all and we are honored that our celebrated facilities and collections can be used to serve those most in need.   It is truly a unique opportunity for the Museum and Potluck in the Park to not only nourish bodies, but also souls.”  — Brian Ferriso


We’re pleased to say that volunteer opportunities for our annual free Christmas Dinner fill up fast.  Be watching for the opening of registration, if you are not signed up to receive our newsletter – click here to sign up and you will be notified when registration for volunteering is open. There will also be a need for pies and cakes for desserts. CLICK HERE for baked goods details.


Potluck in the Park welcomes donations of homemade or commercial non-perishable pies, cakes, cookies and pastries for our Christmas Day Dinner and Sidewalk Coffee Pastry Cart. You can bake yourself, purchase, or even ask your local coffee shop or bakery for a donation of their Christmas Eve pastry leftovers.

We also need No-Sugar, Low Sugar and Gluten Free desserts and fresh bananas for our diabetic and “dentally challenged” guests.

How you can contribute:

For baked goods, please use our contact form to let us know how you wish to contribute. Or you can donate directly to Potluck in the Park through our secure PayPal link, just click on the red DONATE NOW button at the top of the page.

Our VOLUNTEERS speak out.

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