About Potluck In The Park

Potluck has been serving a free hot meal to anyone in need since 1991. Rain or shine, 52 weeks a year, we provide a hot meal, every Sunday, at O’Bryant Square in downtown Portland. Four hundred to six hundred Portlanders do not go hungry on Sunday because of Potluck in the Park. It is only because of the generosity of volunteers and donations from people like you that our Potluck community continues to provide a meal to those in need.

Since 1991 Potluck in the Park has been a volunteer driven, grass roots, tax exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with no paid staff or office location. Our entire budget has gone directly to the people who need it, people who otherwise might not receive a meal. We have accomplished our mission of providing nutritious food and an atmosphere of community to anyone in need because of you and others like you.  In 2012 we served over 30,000 guests.

In order to meet our escalating demand for services, the 2012 Board of Director’s created Potluck’s first salaried position, an Operations Director, and offered the position to Cheri Baber.  Cheri joined Potluck in 2002, has been on the Board of Director’s since 2006, and served as Board Chair from 2009-2012.  As Operations Director Cheri oversees Potluck’s program and facilities, supervises the gleaning and cooking teams and engages supporters and other community partners.
Each of the servers for Potluck in the Park is a volunteer, many of whom represent area schools, service organizations, or churches. Food donated by individuals, businesses, organizations and religious institutions of all faiths is supplemented by donations gathered on a weekly basis from area grocers, wholesalers, hotels, restaurant owners and caterers. Some of our community partners include the YWCA, Loaves and Fishes Centers, The Meals on Wheels People, Volunteers of America, and the Association of Catering and Event Professionals (A.C.E.P.)

Holidays are a special time for families. Each Christmas Day, our Potluck in the Park family serves a full dinner with turkey and all the trimmings to 1000+ people at the Downtown YWCA. Local musicians, including Tom Grant, play for our guests. Cell phones are provided so contact can be made with family and friends. Stockings with goodies are handed out, and Santa is there for pictures to help create that feeling of holiday and family for all of our guests.

To carry out our mission, Potluck in the Park needs dollars. While much of our food is donated, additional items must be purchased. Other operating expenses include funds for dishes and utensils, serving equipment, maintenance, gas and insurance for the Potluck truck, cleaning supplies, printing and postage.