During my time with Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon as an AmeriCorps VISTA member, I have contributed to our Summer Meals work in many different capacities, including raising awareness, reducing barriers and developing resources for programs. This summer, I had the opportunity to give direct Summer Meals support to the housing communities of Arbor Glen, allowing me to see firsthand the positive impact the program has on kids and their families.
This summer marks the seventh year that Hunger-Free Oregon has distributed grants to expand the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) in Oregon. This year, we distributed more than $53,000 to school districts and nonprofits across the state, including Human Solutions, a nonprofit in Portland. Human Solutions helps low-income and homeless families and individuals gain self-sufficiency through affordable housing, family support services, and other economic development opportunities.
Arbor Glen is one of their housing communities in East Portland, a long time summer meals site and one that our grant funds helped to support.
Along with another Hunger-Free Oregon AmeriCorps VISTA member, we developed and led weekly activities for kids focusing on nutrition and physical activity. As part of our weekly activity hour, kids were able to utilize their time in learning about nutrition together, as well as bond with their peers. Kids designed fruit and vegetable-themed bookmarks, played bingo and solved word puzzles, all with a focus on nutrition!
Arbor Glen is a welcoming space for kids and families, with their summer program engaging up to 80 kids and their families each day. Human Solutions leverages strong community partnerships to run a great program. The lunches were prepared and delivered by Centennial School District, and daily activities facilitated by Portland Parks & Recreation’s Summer Free for All Program. The site also partnered with Multnomah County Library’s Books 2 U program to provide reading activities for the kids.
While I was only able to spend two months at Arbor Glen, it was a great learning experience to work with the kids and engage them in learning about nutrition. Healthy meals and enriching activities are so important for kids during the long summer break, so that they can continue to be develop their minds and bodies and return to school ready to thrive. I want to thank Arbor Glen for partnering with us, and wish the kids a great school year!
Anti-Hunger and Opportunity Corps, AmeriCorps VISTA, Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon
2015 marks the seventh year that Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon has distributed grants to expand Summer Food Service Programs in Oregon. Over the years, generous donations have allowed us to distribute nearly $570,000. We would like to thank and acknowledge donors to the 2015 Summer Meals Support Fund!
- Providence Health & Services
- Kaiser Permanente
- The Greenbrier Companies, Inc.
- Grace Memorial Episcopal Church
- Gerding Edlen Development Company
- Congregation Beth Israel
- AAA Oregon/Idaho
- David Spire and Janice Simons
- The Walmart Foundation
- Legacy Health
- Perkins & Co
- Barran Liebman
- KOIN-TV 6