Following an incredible weekend with Feast Portland, Hunger-Free Oregon staff are jumping back into the daily work of connecting Oregonians to nutrition programs and preventing hunger. After four days of celebrating Oregon’s bounty and the outpouring of support from Feast vendors, sponsors, organizers and attendees, it’s hard not be inspired and recharged to continue our mission of ending hunger before it begins.
Since the culinary festival’s inception, Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon has been one of two nonprofit recipients of the proceeds raised by the event, alongside the national nonprofit No Kid Hungry. It has been an honor be a part of the Feast celebration and has benefited our work greatly, both with financial support, but also with the opportunity to promote our mission to the community.
Our staff share some of their personal highlights from the weekend.
Jackleen de La Harpe, Development Director
Favorite Event: Crucifery Dinner
Favorite Food at Feast: Reverse ravioli by Cathy Whims of Nostrana—a ribbon of San Marzano tomato conserva in freshly made pasta with homemade ricotta and whey on the outside.
Highlight: Seated at the table were a retired couple, a couple that lived on the Park Blocks, a couple who had moved from California recently, and a couple who were third generation vintners. Everyone clapped and cheered when I talked about hunger in Oregon and the important contribution made by Feast to address hunger in Oregon.
Simone Crowe, Communications Manager
Favorite Event: Smoked!
Favorite Food: Crispy smoked oyster mushrooms from Allen Routt of the Painted Lady Restaurant.
Highlight: I loved connecting to chefs and guests at Feast, because it made me realize how much people care about ending hunger in our state. I was surprised to not only see a knowledge of the problem, but a passion to solve it. I heard more than one person say when they discovered our table, 'You guys are why we're all here. This is what Feast is all about -- ending hunger.' Foodies care about food -- and they understand that everyone deserves the right to access good, healthy food.
Marcella Miller, Child Hunger Prevention Manager
Favorite Event: Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting
Favorite Food at Feast: Fifty Licks buttermilk ice cream with candied ginger, lime zest and peanuts. (My favorite will always be ice cream!)
Highlight: I talked one couple who has been coming every year since the beginning, and a big reason why they do is because the ticket sales support a good cause. We're gearing up for a statewide School Breakfast Challenge, so it was exciting to use the time to talk about that campaign and share what we're up to with people already familiar with our work.
Clarissa Yi, Volunteer Coordinator and Americorps VISTA Member
Favorite Event: Night Market
Favorite Food at Feast: Fat Rice - Macau rice crisp, an amazing savory rice krispie treat with nori, pork floss and shallot caramel.
Highlight: I really enjoyed connecting with people at the event. It’s hard to step away from all the food and fun, so I really appreciated all the people who came up to our table and talked to us about our organization; it was great to hear their story and how passionate they are about ending hunger.
Alison Killeen, Community Engagement Manager
Favorite Event: Feast Portland Welcome Party at Jacobsen Salt Co.
Favorite Food at Feast: Mei Lin's "Milk and Honey" Buttermilk Ice Cream
Highlight: It was an incredible privilege to be a fly-on-the-wall at some of the Feast insider events like the Welcome Party on Wednesday night. Jackleen, Simone, and I were able to meet some of the incredibly talented chefs and food producers affiliated with Feast, and have more in-depth conversations with them Hunger-Free Oregon's mission and work. I continue to be so impressed by the thoughtfulness and generosity of the individuals and businesses that we meet through Feast Portland, and their commitment to ending hunger through this beautiful event.
These important conversations wouldn’t happen without the chance to attend and share information at Feast events. We also had two unique, local raffle packages to engage guests with, made possible by donations from Alma Chocolate, Ancient Heritage Dairy and Thomas and Sons Distillery. The two lucky winners were excited to receive their prizes!
As we wind down after all the festivities and hard work, Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon thanks all the guest, vendors, sponsors and organizers for the opportunity to be a part of Feast Portland. We’re looking forward to September 2016!