"As a solo parent, it is often really hard to stretch my income across all the needs my family has. I am so thankful for the resources and assistance that is out there. At the same time, it has taken it's toll on my sense of self-worth as a parent. Filling out application after application for assistance, proving my poverty so my kids can be fed can feel discouraging. When I first heard about GNFP, I wasn't really interested in going to another reminder of how I was failing as a provider. Then when my state assistance was reduced due to budget cuts, I struggled even more to get by. I heard about the work-trade for meat option that they offer here and loved the sound of it. It felt so much more like earning the food than a hand out. As I spent hours up at the farm doing the work trade, I inadvertently witnessed the food pantry activities as well. I was floored by how different it works here. You don't just come and get your box or allotted food. Everyone shows up as part of the team. The first time I participated at the pantry was incredible. We all worked as a team of volunteers, cleaning, prepping, unloading, sorting and gleaning. No sense of "us and them" - the needy and the benefactors. There was not the attitude of scarcity and desperation that often comes with receiving hand outs. I left with great food, enough to feed us extremely well for a week, and even more importantly, a sense of empowerment and hope. This is the experience I have each time I come to GNFP. There is a warmth, a sense of community, belonging and purpose that is so incredible. I have built amazing friendships there. I have learned to harvest my own meat, prepare healthy and alternative food for my kids and that I am not just a taker, I also bring my own value and skills to the table. I wish that everyone who is where I was at knew about this incredible place. It will change them inside and out"
"The Pantry is more than handing out - it is about community, sharing and learning, giving not only food but the encouragement to volunteer and become involved in helping others - a true circle of love and heart felt giving to each other. I use GNFP primarily to glean enough vegetables for making 'Free Hot Soup' to feed to the homeless on the streets of Portland plus often breads for sandwiches and fresh fruits to hand out or make deserts with. For one evening, I can gather enough to feed a hundred people! This is amazing and makes volunteering to provide this hot food affordable rather than cost prohibitive. Fresh home cooked food is appreciated by so many 'friends' on the streets. Providing healthy food is also about helping people become healthier - more able to work, study or feel less stressed about where their next meal will come from - allowing them to concentrate on dealing with their many other challenges that could be barriers to success. GNFP consistently supplies hundreds of people and families with a reliable source of great food - their hard work and inspiration is a true community blessing."
GNFP is a family friendly resource for those who are in need of a hand up. GFNP encourages families and individuals to become proactive with the farm to promote work ethic creating a sense of pride within those that are in need. My experience as a volunteer is one that leaves me feeling blessed. I do not leave feeling ashamed for my need and I can leave with my head held high. GFNP provides an opportunity that most food pantries do not provide. I am volunteering my time in exchange for food on the table, a hand up not a hand out! If you cannot volunteer you are not turned away, it is encouraged but not required!! The volunteers and staff and friendly and caring. GFNP is a family ran farm that is cultivating change, one mouth full at a time, one less hungry child, one more parent who can leave with skills and knowledge of how to better provide for their family! Tyler and his crew are always there to stop and answer questions or lend a kind ear or word. Friendships are built at GNFP!
"My daughter (age 14) and I have been involved with the Good Neighbor Food Pantry since its beginning. We gathered between 500-1,000 pounds of fruits & vegetables each week. The produce was then distributed at our church food bank on Sunday afternoons. We feed between 25-40 families each week, and they are very grateful to have access to such good quality food to feed their hungry family. I have also personally referred many people to the GNFP. Tyler & Liz Boggs are an important part of the community, we should all aspire to be like them."
Constance & Brittaney Worden