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Blanchet House Served 60% More Meals in 2020

Portland (Jan. 15, 2020)—Blanchet House released data on the impact the organization’s services had on homelessness and food insecurity in 2020. The nonprofit saw a 60% increase in the number of meals provided during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 517,000 meals were prepared and served at Blanchet House’s location in Old Town/Chinatown. More than 57,000 of these meals were shared with partner shelters run by the City of Portland, Transition Projects Inc., and Human Solutions.

  • 150 people given life-saving shelter across Blanchet House’s two locations.
  • 1,700 people signed up to volunteer in 2020. They served and prepared meals, sorted and handed out clothing, and more.
  • More than 650,000 pounds of fresh food was rescued from local grocery stores, restaurants, and businesses. This excess soon-to-expire good food was prepared and given to people who need it instead of going to waste.
  • 100,000 sack lunches were prepared by volunteers from their homes and handed out to Blanchet House guests.

“I’m calling this a humanitarian crisis because I’m not really sure how else to describe what’s going on,” says Scott Kerman, Executive Director of Blanchet House.

Kerman says before the pandemic shutdown many services, Blanchet House served around 1,100 meals on a busy day. Now they serve approximately 1,500 hot meals six days a week.

“We’re not alone in this. We’re standing shoulder to shoulder with other nonprofits in Portland who, under the most extreme circumstances and often with reduced staffing, are doing everything we can to alleviate the suffering we’re seeing in our community,” says Kerman.

ABOUT BLANCHET HOUSE: Blanchet House is a nonprofit organization serving the communities of Multnomah and Yamhill counties. They offer hot meals to people experiencing homelessness and food insecurity as well as operating two life-saving shelter programs that offer a path out of homelessness.

MEDIA CONTACT: Julie Showers jshowers@blanchethouse.org