Blogs: Parents

This is a long post showing meal resources in Multnomah County (and beyond). We start with school districts and then move to community orgranizations we know of that are helping the community. Please let us know if you need further assistance.

Para ver esta información en español, haga clic en Recursos de alimentos para familias. To see this information in Spanish, click Recursos de alimentos para familias.

Multnomah County School Districts

Multnomah County school districts continue to provide meal assistance during the summer. The SUN Service System also has information on accessing food.

We have done our best to provide current information. Please confirm meal availability through the links shared below.

Centennial [updated 9/30/21]

Every Wednesday from 4:30 to 6:00 pm, there is a food pantry at Patrick Lynch Elementary School's cafeteria, 1546 SE 169th Pl, Portland. Bring your own bags and pick up 3-5 days' worth of free food for your family.

Food For Families will have distribution events on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month (second Wednesday only in December and March) during the school year, 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm at Centennial High School, 3505 SE 182nd Ave, Gresham. An Authorized Representative form is required (en español).

Corbett [updated 9/15/21]

CSD students on free and reduced lunch, and families who are struggling, lunch pick-up is on Mondays from 9:00 to 1:00 at the door by the kitchen in the MPB.   We are trying to limit the lunch pick-up days to once per week to decrease the exposure of staff.  If you need lunches delivered, or these times do not work for you, please contact Seth Tucker at stucker@corbett.k12.or.us

David Douglas [updated 9/15/21] 

There are food pantries located at the following David Douglas school buildings. These are for families to pick up free groceries, not grab-and-go meals. Check the link for a calendar that shows times and any closures.

  • Cherry Park Elementary: 1930 SE 104th Ave. Mondays, 3:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
  • David Douglas High South Building: 1500 SE 130th Ave. Thursdays, 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. 
  • Earl Boyles Elementary: 10822 SE Bush St. Tuesdays, 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. 
  • Floyd Light Middle: 10800 SE Washington St. Mondays, 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. 
  • Gilbert Heights Elementary: 12839 SE Holgate Blvd. Fridays, 9:15 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
  • Gilbert Park Elementary: 13132 SE Ramona St. Wednesdays 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Menlo Park Elementary: 12900 NE Glisan St. Thursdays, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Mill Park Elementary: 1900 SE 117th Ave. Tuesdays, 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Gresham-Barlow [updated 9/15/21]

Food pantries are located at the following schools:

  • East Gresham Elementary: 900 SE 5th St., Gresham. Tuesdays, from 4:00 pm to 5:15 pm
  • Highland Elementary: 295 NE 24th St., Gresham. 2nd Wednesday from 3:15 pm to 5:15 pm

Other community food box information can be found at The Sunshine Division and Snowcap Community Charities

Parkrose 

Portland [updated 8/23/21]

Portland Public Schools' summer meal program has ended. This space will be updated as soon as information for the school year is available.

Reynolds [updated 9/13/21]

    Public food pantries are being held at the locations listed below. It is recommended that you arrive early as supplies run out quickly. Masks are required. Click here for more information.
    • Glenfair Elementary School: 15300 NE Glisan St. Tuesdays, 3:45-5:15 pm
    • Reynolds High School: 1698 SW Cherry Park Rd, Troutdale. Last Tuesday of the month, 2:30 pm
    • Alder Elementary School: 17200 SE Alder St. Wednesdays, 2:30-4:00 pm
    • Reynolds Middle School: 1200 NE 201st Ave., Fairview. Fridays, 4:00-5:30 pm
    • Wilkes Elementary School: 17020 NE Wilkes Rd. First Friday of the month, 3:00-4:30 pm
    • Davis Elementary School: 19501 NE Davis St. Second Friday of the month, 3:30-5:00 pm
     

    Agencies, Community Organizations and Restaurants

    Information may change so please check their websites if a link is provided.

    C3 Pantry (NE): 6120 NE 57th Ave., Portland. Tuesdays and Saturday, doors open at 11:30am, shopping is 12-1pm.

    Mainspring Food Pantry (NE): 3500 NE 82nd Ave., Portland. An open air, farmers market, self select, walk/roll-in food pantry every Tuesday from 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. They make every effort to serve everyone in line. Please bring bags for your food if you have access to them since they have a limited supply. You may access the food pantry once a month. 
     
    Meals 4 Kids: serves qualified children and families within the City of Portland. Please visit their website to complete a request form.
     
    Northeast Emergency Food Program (NE): 4800 NE 72nd Ave., Portland. Open Thursday and Saturday, 12-3 pm. Food boxes are prepared in advance for walk or drive up pick up.
     
    Portland Adventist Community Services (NE): 11020 NE Halsey St., Portland. Offering prepacked food boxes for pick up,  Monday – Friday 9am– 11am. They also provide a mobile food pantry service to some neighborhoods.
     
    One Hope Food Pantry (NE): Located at 5425 NE 27th Ave., Portland 97211. Open for drive-through and pickup Saturdays, 1-3 pm. Food boxes are available each week and a hot meal is served on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays.
     
    Sunshine Division (SE):  free emergency food boxes to pick up or be delivered. They are located at 12436 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97233. For hours and more information, please visit sunshinedivision.org or call 503.609.0285.
     
    William Temple House (NW): 2023 NW Hoyt St., Portland. Offering a walk-in pantry, Tuesday-Thursday, 11 am-2 pm. A guide to the pantry can be found here.
     
    Lift Urban Portland (SW):  Located at 1838 SW Jefferson St., Portland 97201. Food pantry hours of operation are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. A random number lottery takes place 5 minutes before opening to determine your place in line.
     
    Portland Open Bible food pantry (SE):  Located at 3223 SE 92nd Ave., Portland 97266. Pick-up food boxes, information can be found here. Hours of operation are Tuesdays 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Thursdays 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
     
    For more information about access to food for families including the Oregon Food Bank, please call 211, or  text "FOOD" or "COMIDA" to 877-877 for Meals locations. or visit oregonfoodfinder.org.
     
    Self Enhancement Inc also has a list of community food resources that includes sites in Multnomah, Clackamas, Washingon and Yamhill counties in Oregon and Vancouver, WA area schools.
     
     
     

    Did you know the library is more than books? Try a scavenger hunt to explore the library website and catalog. Discover some new resouces and learn a bit about the library. How many languages does TumbleBooks offer books in? What app can you use to learn a language? When did your neighborhood library open? Try all or some of the questions. Click here for the questions and, when you're ready, here are answers and how to find them.

    rainbow pride flag
    The beautiful thing about young people is that they react to the world around them through wonder, imagination, and questions...lots and lots of questions. In June, some of these questions may have something to do with Pride Month and what it means to be LGBTQ+.**

    • “What’s with all the rainbows?”
    • “Why is it called ‘Pride Month?’”  
    • “What do all those letters stand for?” **

    Some of us are more familiar with Pride - and more comfortable talking about it - than others, so we put together some helpful tips for having those conversations during June and beyond.  

    Read Up 

    Dive into the historical significance of the Pride Movement and Stonewall Rebellion in June 1969, and learn about the significance of the Pride flag. For a kid-friendly history to read and talk about together, check out Stonewall: a Building, a History by Rob Sanders, with illustrations by Jamey Christoph. Check out recommended fiction featuring LGBTQ+ characters, or memoirs written by LGBTQ+ writers. Curious about how to use they/them pronouns? There’s a graphic novel guide for you! Browse the reading lists below for more titles that may interest your family.    

    Listen to (and Learn from) Queer Voices

    There are also excellent resources online to help parents and caregivers explore Pride and LGBTQ+ identity openly and honestly with kids. Our favorite is the Queer Kids Stuff Youtube series from LGBTQ+ activist Lindsay Amer, the self-described “Queer Mr. Rogers.” We love how this series (with four seasons of episodes!) explores topics like gender identity and how to be a good ally.  

    Celebrate! 

    Portland Pride Parade is happening virtually this year on Sunday, June 20 at 11 am. 

    Drag Queen Storytime with Poison Waters on Thursday, June 24 at 12 pm. Join us for this special storytime featuring the fabulous Poison Waters reading stories about inclusion and diversity. Register via the link above to join via Zoom.  

    Support LGBTQ+ Youth

    Youth who identify as LGBTQ+ benefit from a supportive network of family, friends, and peers. Check out our recent article We <3 LGBTQ+ Kids and Teens! for some organizations and resources that can help provide that support.

    This article is part of our “Talking with kids” series, as featured in our monthly newsletter. Reach out to us at learning@multcolib.org if you need more support or have questions. We’re here for you!



    **LGBTQ+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning. The + is meant to include all gender identities and sexual orientations not covered by the other letters. Read What Does LGBTQ+ Mean? for more information.

    If you are looking for help with schooling, here are some free tutoring resources to consider.

    Virtual K-12 Tutoring / Tutoría Virtual

    Tuesdays, 4,6 pm throughout the year
    Who is eligible : K-12 students who need support in language arts, math, science, and/or social studies.
    Registration required : yes, spots are limited
    Who are the tutors : Multnomah County Library volunteers
    Which languages is tutoring available in : English and Spanish

    Tutor.com

    Who is eligible :  K-college students
    Registration required : yes for some features, no for live help
    Who are the tutors :  college and graduate students, teachers, working professionals
    Which languages is tutoring available in : English, Spanish, Vietnamese

    Other Tutor.com information : 
    available with a library card
    live tutoring 2-10 pm daily
    essay help
    worksheets
    suggested websites
    learning videos

    Learn to Be

    Who is eligible : K-12 students with a focus on underserved students
    Registration required : yes
    Who are the tutors : high school and college students, adults
    Which languages is tutoring available in : English

    Interns for Good

    Who is eligible : K-8 students
    Registration required : yes
    Who are the tutors : high school students
    Which languages is tutoring available in : English

    ConnectOregonStudents

    Who is eligible : K-12 students in Oregon, Southwest Washington, and Northern California
    Registration required : yes
    Who are the tutors : Oregon high school students 
    Which languages is tutoring available in : English (but includes language learning tutoring for other languages)
    Other : they also offer peer support

    Teens Tutor Teens

    Who is eligible : Teens 13-18
    Registration required : yes
    Who are the tutors : high school students
    Which languages is tutoring available in : English
     
    Other Teens Tutor Teens information :
    group tutoring
    test prep tutoring
    on-demand videos
    worksheets
    essay editing
     

    If you are looking for extra academic support instead of live tutoring, consider these free resources:

    Learning Resource Express Library has academic support resources for upper elementary school through high school. Available with your Multnomah County Library card.

    Khan Academy has free video-based lessons and practice for K-12 students.

    HippoCampus.org is a free web site that delivers content on general education subjects to middle-school and high-school students.

    Ben’s Guide to the U.S. Government is a service of the Government Publishing Office (GPO), and designed to inform studentsvabout the Federal Government.

    Typing.com is a free resource to help students build their typing skills. Available in English and Spanish.

    Mathlearningcenter.org is a nonprofit organization serving the education community and include activities for students K-5 in math. Available in English and Spanish.

    Two women and a young girl blow bubbles outside in a field

    “I routinely prescribe nature to children and families.  Nature has the power to heal."  

    -Dr. Nooshin Razani, pediatrician, presenter of the TED Talk "Presribing Nature for Health"

    Research suggests that taking a walk, visiting a park, or getting out in nature can relieve stress, encourage social bonds, and support physical activity.  Less stress means less depression, anxiety, and isolation...not just for kids, but for adults, too!  

    Portland Parks and Recreation offers plenty of opportunities for adventure!  Search for your next destination through the Find a Park feature, and be sure to check out their list of Inclusive Playgrounds, which is growing!  Gresham also offers an array of parks and trails to explore. Troutdale, with its proximity to the Sandy and Columbia rivers, offers plenty of fun options as well, and Fairview is home to many others, including our favorite, Salish Pond Wetlands Park.

    Wait, there’s more! Metro Parks and Natural Areas offer 17,000 acres of outdoor exploration!  Try out the Interactive Park Finder, and while you’re there, check out their Parks and Nature News section for the latest on the ways our community enjoys nature.  

    We love keeping up with Metro’s Our Big Backyard magazine and exploring back issues for beautiful photographs. The latest (Fall 2020) issue features two articles written by members of our community.  

    While you're outside, you can take advantage of the learning opportunities it offers.  Portland Parks has created an at-home nature activities page, with links to videos and other activities that tap into kids’ sense of curiosity.  You can find a Flower Scavenger Hunt, a Birds of Portland guide, and a map of Tree Museums that are open for viewing right in your neighborhood.  

    There’s so much to see and do out there, so take Dr. Razani’s prescription and get outside!   Even just a little bit can do wonders for your health - mental, physical, emotional, and overall!


    This article was written for our Family Newsletter, brought to you by Home Learning Support and available in English and Spanish. Please sign up here and you can email us at learning@multcolib.org with any questions.

    three preschool age kids - two girls and one boy - sit on the carpet.  The boy has the facial characteristics of Downs Syndrome.  One girl has her hand raised.

    Kids are naturally curious about the world around them. They notice differences in people, because there are differences.  

    Visible differences, like how we look, skin color, how we dress, and how we get around.  

    And less visible differences, like how we learn, how we interact with one another, and how we experience the world.

    Responding to kids’ observations about people with disabilities and visible illnesses can be hard for parents and caregivers who are not sure how, or are afraid they will say something wrong.   

    Let’s remember that some of us are different, and experience the world differently, than others. And that’s not a bad thing! In fact, it’s a beautiful thing. Talking about it can be hard, but it’s important!  

    My kids' cousin has autism. I tell my kids about how his brain works differently and experiences the world differently than our brains do.  We read books with characters who have autism and talk about them together. Their cousin's mother, my sister-in-law, shared a post on Facebook written by staff at the EDAM Center for Special Education in the Philippines.  This part really stuck with me, and I hope it sticks with you, too.

    For all the children who struggle every day to succeed in a world that does not recognize their gifts and talents, and for those who are walking beside them, please let this be a gentle reminder to be kind and accepting of all people.

    Recognize that the "playing field" is not always a level surface.

    Children who learn differently are not weird. They are merely gifted in ways that our society does not value enough. Yet they want what everyone else wants: To be accepted!!

    At the library, we strive to celebrate differences and find common ground in kindness and acceptance.  We want to support you in being comfortable talking to your kids about differences from an early age, and to keep up the conversations as they get older. Below are some resources that may help.  

    This post is part of our “Talking with kids” series, as featured in our monthly Family Newsletter.  Reach out to us at learning@multcolib.org if you need more support or have questions. We’re here for you!


     

    Are you an artist in grades 6–12?   

    Do you know an artist in grades 6-12?

    Enter a design for the 2021 Multnomah County Library Teen Summer Reading Art Contest!

    The theme this year is “Reading Colors Your World.” A panel of library staff and artists will select a winner from the entries.

    ● The winning design will appear on the cover of all teen gameboards. The winning artist will be awarded a $100 gift card to an art supply store.

    ● More entries will be selected to produce a “Reading Colors Your World” coloring book that will be given to Summer Reading participants.  Kids all over the county will be coloring your designs!

    ● The library will share the winner and all selected designs on social media. 

    ● Here are the favorite designs from 2020's contest, by Naima (left) and Willa (right):

    black and white design showing a girl reading, and magically coming from the book there is a witch, princess, dragon, and objects like a sword, apple, ring, and cauldron
    black and white design showing an open book, with dragons, snakes, and a turtle magically coming out of the pages

     

     

     

     

     


    ART SPECIFICATIONS

     

    The box on the flyer is proportional to the final maximum measurement, and you may use it to submit your artwork. You don’t have to use the entire box, but your artwork must fit inside of it. Final artwork will be printed at a maximum of 6” x 4” (measurements may change if art is scaled down).

    1. Original artwork only

    2. Content should be appropriate for youth all ages

    3. Black & white image only

    4. If hand drawn, use black ink, marker, pen or hard pencil

    5. If digitally drawn, submit as black & white EPS or high resolution (300 dpi) PNG, JPG or TIF

    SUBMISSION DETAILS

    Please include your name, grade, school (if applicable) and a phone number or email address so we can reach you if you win.

    Winners will be selected based on the following criteria:

    ● Follow art specifications above.

    ● Show innovative interpretation of the theme, “Reading Colors Your World”. Be creative, try new things, find beauty in diversity.

    ● Show graphic design/artistic merit.

    Entries must be received by Friday, March 5.  Submit your artwork electronically to summerreading@multcolib.org, bring it to your local library, or send a paper version to:

    Summer Reading | Multnomah County Library | Isom Building | 205 NE Russell Street Portland, OR 97212

    Summer Reading is made possible by gifts to The Library Foundation

    Child in voting booth looking up at camera
    Families can help children learn about the government through talking, reading and playing. And teaching children how the government works from an early age helps them become good citizens in the future, especially when it comes to voting.

    Start with what your children know or have heard from the news, friends and family. Be sure to discuss the importance of respecting different points of view and seeking the truth. You can also read books, play games with younger and older kids, and show them your ballot and the pamphlet with the candidate's information. Take them with you when you drop off your ballot or put it in the mail. Maybe even hold your own elections at home!

    And it doesn’t end with voting - your family can continue to learn throughout the year about the government system in America and what it means to be a good citizen. Below are some book lists for all ages that will help!

    This post is part of our "Talking with kids" series, and was featured in our monthly Family Newsletter. Sign up for the newsletter here, and email us at learning@multcolib.org if you have any questions.

    Physical distancing doesn’t mean social distancing. Staying in touch with family and friends is important. Games can be a way to connect with the kids in your life or to connect your kids with their friends and family while at home. Whether one, two or multi-player, there are some good options for free apps and online games for preschoolers to tweens to teens.

    photo of iPad with children's app icons

    The Association for Library Service to Children creates an annual Notable Children's Digital Media list that has web-based and app-based games for pre-k up through middle school (some free, some for a small fee) and the Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media Award has suggestions for younger children.

    Common Sense Media posts reviews and rates based on developmental criteria and factors such as ease of play, positive messages, violence, and consumerism. Reviews from parents and kids are also available.Their site has lists of suggestions for free online games and free apps that can be sorted by age. 

    Check out Online Games for Families to Play Together, an article from Parents magazine. It includes some classics and some new ones, and it’s a good starting point for multi-generational game ideas. Another article shares 15 free online learning games.

    Board Game Arena has thousands of games for all ages--Connect Four, Battleship, Can't Stop, King Domino, and Carcassonne to name a few. Games can be played by inviting friends or joining tables. You can also change the language for the site and play.

    If branded games are okay, many networks have kids gaming sites that tie in with their characters. Some of those are PBS Kids, Disney Jr., Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and Nick Jr

    Toca Boca has a lot of different games that are great for creative, open-ended play. They offer a good amount of gameplay for free, but you can purchase additional content. 

    Loteria is a traditional Latin American bingo game you can play on Google Doodle Loteria. Begin by clicking the red play button for the video at the top of your screen. You can play with friends by sharing the link it gives you.

    And if you ask kids, they will say Minecraft! Minecraft Classic can be played for free online although players can't save their progress.

    The 14-year-old gamer son of one of our librarians suggested Forza for middle schoolers and older. Forza is a series of car racing games that is available from Microsoft Games to play on different devices.

    Whatever the gaming choice, talking with your children about going online is always a good idea. SafeKids.com, Connect Safely and the Federal Trade Commission have resources for parents and children.

    Have fun and game on!

    photo of children at Wizard Camp library program
    For the past several years, the Hollywood Teen Council has hosted a Hogwarts Camp for 1st-3rd graders during the winter break from school. As many camps and summer programs aren’t happening this summer, they want to share some ideas so that you can create your own wizard camp at home.
     
    Usually the teen council would make the gathering of supplies a big part of the first day of camp, and you can pick and choose which supplies you will want to make. During camp, they would try to expose burgeoning witches and wizards to a variety of wizard school subjects such as Potions, Care of Magical Creatures, Charms and more. At home, with more time, there are many possibilities. You can also find ideas for games and activities as well as some magical treats to make. Imagination is the key ingredient for all of these. Here is a list of supplies and activities for your DIY Wizard's Camp.

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