Stone Soup's response to COVID-19
We're making more food than ever before...
While Stone Soup has closed our restaurant doors temporarily due to COVID-19, we remain focused on our mission to advocate for dignity and employment opportunities for people at risk of homelessness. In these tumultuous times, this also means doing whatever we can to support the growing concerns of our at-risk neighbors living on the street.
With Portland’s move to self-quarantine, many restaurants are closing their doors and laying off staff. This will be particularly devastating for restaurants and nonprofits who rely on a slim cash flow or inconsistent donations.
However, Stone Soup is feeling extremely lucky and honored. Starting in mid-March, we started working with Multnomah County to manage meal production for new shelters in Portland, which were brought online to maintain adequate social distancing measures. This means Stone Soup and our partner restaurants will be cooking and delivering breakfast, lunch and dinner for hundreds of unhoused women and men, seven days per week. All totaled, at the peak for the program, we were organizing about 9,000 meals a week!
This major undertaking, closely aligned with Stone Soup’s mission, allows us to keep most of our staff employed, as well as hire some of our program participants and recent graduates who have demonstrated outstanding skills.
Because Stone Soup can’t provide all of these meals alone, we are joined in this effort to provide shelter meals 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. They include:
We are VERY THANKFUL to these food and beverage providers for their continuous hard work in helping keep the guests at the county shelters nourished with balanced and healthy meals. We are also thankful to Multnomah County who is playing a key role in keeping these restaurants operational during this difficult time.
Many of you are wondering what is happening to our training courses. We are starting our next Cohort on August 3. We also remain cautious about the potential spread of COVID-19 and realize that more people gathering means a greater risk. We are practicing social distancing and maintaining the highest hygiene standards. Stone Soup is doing everything possible to keep staff, food, and our entire community as safe as possible from the spread of COVID-19.
As we embark on this project, Stone Soup has a few asks for you:
First and foremost, stay home. Keep up with the current safety guidelines for your communities. We need to protect all of our elders and other neighbors at high risk of complications from COVID-19.
We all are facing stressful times and many unknowns; for some, this means a lack of a paycheck. But for those who can afford it and are still working, please consider making a donation to Stone Soup so we can continue to employ our staff and program participants. Every dollar counts.
We’re figuring out ways that you can volunteer remotely. Like our Volunteer Mask Making Program.
Sign up here to get volunteer notifications.
We are so incredibly thankful to our community and our partners. Please stay hopeful and healthy.