During a recent ice storm in Portland, Oregon, there was a huge effort to ensure food gets into the hands – and mouths – of those who need it most. When weather emergencies hit it strains resources across the region. Dangerous travel conditions and power outages force restaurant and grocery store closures, putting massive amounts of food in jeopardy of going to waste. That’s where nonprofits like Milk Crate Kitchen and Urban Gleaners step in. A network of food distribution nonprofits across the city has been working through icy conditions to salvage food from closed businesses and turn it into meals. “The pickups that we’ve been able to get out and go and get in this weather have been double to triple the size that those pickups normally are,” said Nico Niebes, executive director of the food rescue and redistribution nonprofit Urban Gleaners. About a hundred meals were sent to an emergency shelter set up at Clackamas Community College. “The guests were just so appreciative– being in a shelter condition like that, and having just a hot wonderful meal, it really lifts a lot of people’s spirits,” said Stephanie Coleman, who was involved with the shelter effort.

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