A wide array of nonprofits and mutual aid groups that have sprung up in Portland to help feed the hungry; many started during the pandemic and some started during the protests after the murder of George Floyd. The common thread is people seeing a need and engaging to make a difference. “My grandmother always said, if you don’t know what to do, do what you know,” said Michael Casper, a sous chef who started cooking for friends in an endeavor he named “Milk Crate Kitchen”. Many of these efforts started small, cooking in someone’s home. As the need has grown, organizations have expanded into commercial space. Also part of this movement is the FreeFridge phenomenon, where community refrigerators are stocked with free food for anyone with a need. Love is a principal motivation for many in the mutual aid and nonprofit groups feeding the community. “When I started this, I personally felt that I am in no position to judge or be a judge on who should get a meal. If they’re humble enough to ask, I’m gracious enough to provide one,” said Casper.

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