Stone Soup's Contract Meals
We learned a few things from the Pandemic:
First, we knew we loved feeding people, but it feels even better when we know the person eating our meals is facing food insecurity. Starting in March 2020, we started working with Multnomah County to manage meal production for shelters in Portland brought online to maintain adequate physical distancing measures. Stone Soup and our partner restaurants cooked and delivering breakfast, lunch and dinner for hundreds of unhoused women and men, seven days per week. At the peak for the program, we were organizing about 9,000 meals a week!
Not only that, we're able to provide healthy options for a variety of dietary needs. We know that nutrition plays a big role in recovering from many of life's challenges, which is why we always include fresh vegetables with every meal.
This past April, we were thrilled to start working with the C3PO Villages to provide meals for them as well through our relationship with the Joint Office of Homeless Services. This new contract has provided much needed stability for our organization, as we were predicting some of the COVID related shelters could close down after the pandemic was over.
And we are also pleased to bring on a new contract with Human Solutions to make meals for three of their shelters Monday through Friday every week.
With these new contracts in place, we are now on firmer ground and will focus more on our job training program.
We also learned during the pandemic that having a set number of meals to produce every day provides a more stable platform from which we can train our participants. Our lunch counter in the Before Times was a fun place to gather, but the stress of a long stream of meal tickets spewing from the printer combined with participants in a job they are stepping into for the first time made for a difficult and potentially unproductive experience. We now have the time to work hand-in-hand with our participants as the shadow our Cook Trainers.
Because Stone Soup can’t provide all of the contract meals & beverages alone, we are joined in this effort to provide food and drink by some of our valued partner restaurants. These partners already committed to contributing to Stone Soup’s mission, and by working together, we help prop each other up in these uncertain times. Restaurants who have made food during the entire program include:
We are VERY THANKFUL to these food and beverage providers for their continuous hard work in helping keep the guests at the shelters and villages nourished with balanced and healthy meals. We are also thankful to Multnomah County and the Joint Office of Homeless Services who is playing a key role in keeping these restaurants operational during this difficult time.
We are continuing with our 12-week Culinary Workforce Development training program, brining new cohorts of five participants into Stone Soup starting every six weeks. And we are so excited that our team of amazing employees continues to expand.
If you want to support us, Stone Soup has a few asks:
First and foremost, get the COVID-19 vaccine so we can all safely get together again real soon!
Consider making a donation to Stone Soup so we can continue to train our program participants in a sustainable way.
Volunteer to help us bring meals to the shelters and villages. Sign up here to get volunteer notifications.