Back in December, at the height of the winter surge, a friend shared an article in USA Today about how students are handling virtual/online school in the time of COVID-19. It was loaded with negativity, pessimism and hopelessness. Students are “lagging academically” or “even further behind - with time running out to meet key academic benchmarks.” Throughout, the article quoted a diverse mixture of kids and parents from around the country, all saying the same thing: there’s been learning loss, kids are failing and falling behind.      

We’d like to tell a different story, one that doesn’t dwell on loss, but focuses on how we move forward. We want to celebrate how far we’ve come, and the progress we’ve made this year, despite, well, everything. We’ve seen agility and perseverance from students adapting to unfamiliar, challenging circumstances. We’ve seen the best kind of support systems: parents, caregivers, teachers, and community members going above and beyond. We’ve observed students learning in so many ways that have nothing to do with academic benchmarks, but are just as important. We’re here to support you as this dynamic learning continues into the summer and beyond.   

Speaking of which, soon, we'll begin our annual Summer Reading program, encouraging kids to read whatever interests them, all summer long! Thanks to the support of the Library Foundation, as well as our amazing staff and volunteers, we’re able to safely continue offering gameboards, prizes, programs, and fun for the whole family. In the past, we’ve promoted the Summer Reading Program as a way to prevent what’s known as “the summer slide,” when kids’ reading skills “slide,” or decline, during the three months they are out of school. Much like the articles about “learning loss,” the “summer slide” theory focuses on the negative, rather than on achieving a positive outcome. So this summer, we offer more positive reasons why you and your family should join us for our Summer Reading Program this year:

Instead of… 
a Latino boy, 5 or 6 years old, sits on a bed and reads a book.  He is smiling.
  • Prevent the “summer slide”!  Read!
  • Don’t you dare lose any more learning!  Read!
  • Don’t fall further behind!  Read!


  • Explore your interests and learn about the world around you!  Read!
  • Keep your brain engaged and growing!  Read!
  • Strengthen your reading skills!  Read!
  • Your mind thrives the more you...Read!    

Summer Reading starts June 16 this year. Stay tuned for more information by checking our Summer Reading page and/or following us on social media (see bottom of the page).  

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

Flyer on registering children for Kindergarten in PPS.
If you live in Multnomah County, you can identify your school or district by texting "MYSCHOOL" or "MIESCUELA" to 898211. And you can find contact info for all the school districts on the Multnomah Education Service District website.

The following information is specific to the Portland Public School (PPS) District.

Kindergarten videos: Hear from families and school staff about how to register and get ready for school! Videos are posted on the Kindergarten tab of the Early Learners website and are available in English, Chinese, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese.

Register for School by June 1: There are so many benefits to registering early such as families hearing from school staff about events, summer transition programs, and information about the start to school. Please register online or call the school for a registration packet. 

Early Kindergarten Transition Program Applications: Apply now to be eligible for this inclusive, family-centered bridge program, for children entering Kindergarten or first grade at an EKT school in the Fall. EKT schools include: Boise-Eliot/Humboldt, Cesar Chavez, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Faubion, Harrison Park, James John, Kelly, Lee, Lent, Rigler, Rosa Parks, Scott, Sitton, Vestal, and Woodmere. Applications and flyers are posted on the EKT website or call the school for paper applications. 

Pre-K Applications: PPS is currently accepting Pre-Kindergarten applications for the 2021/22 school year. Online applications are available and paper applications can be requested by emailing prekprograms@pps.net or leaving a message at (971) 501-0111. 

Ramp up to Kindergarten: This fall, every family will receive a relationship-based conversation with their Kindergarten teacher prior to the start of school. In addition, every child will receive a small group “warm-up” orientation to classroom and building routines prior to the official first day of Kindergarten. School staff will be communicating their specific schedules with incoming families. Finally, teachers will delay student assessments so families and school staff can focus on building relationships for a welcoming start to the school year. 

Finally, the PPS Early Learners Website includes an FAQ document that answers parent questions about Kindergarten. FAQs are available in English, Chinese, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese.

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.

Summer is almost here! Wondering what to do this summer? Here are some ideas!

First and foremost, sign up for Multnomah County Library’s Summer Reading program! Babies, kids and teens can play the Summer Reading game and win prizes! In addition, the library will have lots of fun interactive virtual performances, storytelling, and arts and crafts for kids and families. It all kicks off June 16. And don’t worry, we have it for adults too

Other libraries in the area are offering summer reading as well, sign up for them all!:

Portland Parks and Recreation has a number of opportunities they are offering this summer:

  • Summer Free for All - Free Lunch + Play - Free lunch in the park, along with crafts, games, and activities.
  • Nature Day Camps - for ages 5–12, Nature Day Camps create ways for children to connect to nature through outdoor play and exploration. Camps take place every June, July, and August in various locations around the city. Nature-based camps offer ways for children to nurture their relationship to nature, peers, and trusted adults.
  • Adaptive and Inclusive Recreation - classes and events for those with disabilities, plus PP&R provides disability accommodations in any class or camp (aides, sign language interpreters, adaptive equipment, etc.).
  • Employment - for teens and adults, Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) is planning to hire over 1,800 summer staff!
  • No Ivy League - Wednesday and Saturday volunteer opportunities pulling ivy, planting natives, and learning about yourself. For all ages.
  • Other volunteer opportunities - for teens and adults. 

Summer camps for kids with disabilities:

  • The Autism Society of Oregon - a directory of resources that includes summer camps - sleepaway camp, day camps, and summer classes.
  • Blue Compass Camps - Adventurous camps for “high functioning autism, Asperger’s and ADHD” multiple programs in Oregon and Washington for ages 10-22.
  • Camp Yakety Yak - four week long camps July 12 to August 6 - Day camp focused on social-emotional education - 25% neurotypical children and 75% children with neurodevelopmental or physical disabilities.  Ages 5-11 camp program and a junior counselor program for ages 12-15.  
  • Hoop Camp - dates TBD -  Basketball skills day camp for people with disabilities.
  • Mount Hood Kiwanis Camp - multiple programs and dates all summer for campers with disabilities ages 12 and up.
  • Portland Parks & Recreation Adaptive and Inclusive Recreation - classes and events for those with disabilities.
  • Spectra Gymnastics - half-day camps this summer in their gym for children ages 4-7 and 6-12
  • UP Camp at Evans Creek Retreat - dates TBD - Christian recreational and educational camp experiences for people with special needs 9+.
  • Upward Bound - dates TBD -  Christian recreational and educational sleepaway camp for people with disabilities age 12+.

Other camps offered in the Multnomah area:

  • Girls Build - summer camps for ages 8-11 and 11-15 with generous scholarship possibilities.
  • Girls Count - offering camps for girls 11-14 focused on empowerment, STEAM, and community involvement.
  • PDX Education Collaborative - offering weekly, pod-based programming at a relatively low cost.  
  • PDX Parent Summer Camp listing - A list of camps offered in and around Portland, many are pricey.
  • Rose City Rollers Juniors summer camps - These camps are open to youth skaters, all genders and skill levels welcome. Rental skates and protective gear are included with registration. Limited scholarships are available.
  • Steve and Kate’s Camp - Pricey, but an amazing array of maker activities and tons of kid-led choice.
  • YMCA Camp Collins - classic summer camp experience at Oxbow Regional Park, ages 2-12.

And if you are concerned about overnight camps, the Oregonian published an article stating that Oregon will allow youth overnight camps to resume this summer.

Please email us if you know of other camps we should be listing. We’ll update as we learn more! 

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.

Child using a watering can to water garden.
It feels so good to get outside when the weather is nice!

Children thrive in the natural setting. But exposure to nature is good for all ages! It not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. Gardening is a great way to get into nature. And if you don’t have a garden space, you can try square foot or container gardening. Or find a community garden nearby. 

It is said that there are seven wonders of the natural world, but for little ones there are seven million wonders in the world right outside their door! Everything is fresh and new. The young child’s work is to play and to make constant discoveries about their environment. 

Gardening is a perfect way for the smallest child to explore and honor the earth. Of course, children learn by using their whole body - and all their senses. Children are naturally curious little scientists and love to experience the sights, scents, sounds, and textures of the outdoors. As your little explorer follows you into the garden you can talk to them about what they are seeing.

Give them the names of familiar plants. Describe the squelch of mud between their toes. Notice the texture of the leaves and how they dance in the breeze. Point out the variety of seeds in the fruits and vegetables you share. Gradually, you can introduce the planting of seeds.

And for older kids and teens, the benefits of gardening are just as valuable. 

Here are some ideas.

Gardening Activities for Toddlers

Fun Garden Activities for Little Ones

  • Make a special fairy garden or dinosaur garden! Decorate with stones and flowers and twigs. 
  • Water plants. Or toes!
  • Paint stones. Toddlers are happy with a bucket of water and a paintbrush!
  • Make mud pies. It’s okay to get your hands dirty! Learning involves all the senses.

And below you will find a booklist with even more stories, projects and ideas. Happy gardening!

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.

MHCC Head Start Logo
MHCC Head Start and Early Head Start have over 900 openings for the 21/22 School Year!

They provide FREE services to pregnant women and families of children ages birth to 5 who reside in East Multnomah County, outside of Portland Public Schools.

Programs include:

Home Based Program:

  • For pregnant parents and children 0-5 years old
  • Provides weekly home visits with a childcare provider
  • Focuses on connecting with little ones and parenting skills

Preschool classes:

  • For Children 2-5 years old
  • Ranges from 3.5 – 7 hours per day, 2-5 days a week
  • Learn-by-playing approach builds social and emotional development

Full-Day Childcare*:

  • For children 6 months - 5 years old
  • Ranges from 8.5 -10 hours per day
  • Offers year-round coverage

Here are flyers in English, Spanish, ArabicSomali and Russian

Families who are eligible:

  • Receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Supplemental Security Income, or
  • Are homeless, or
  • Have an income below the federal poverty guideline, or
  • Have a child in foster care

*Additional Eligibility Requirements for Full-Day Childcare:

  • Family must be working and receiving childcare subsidy, or
  • Be an MHCC Student taking 9 credits or more

Ready To Apply? Call the main office at: 503-491-6111 or click here.

As a parent of 3 children with dyslexia I have faced many of the challenges common to caregivers of a youth with dyslexia. 

One of the biggest challenges I faced was navigating school special education to provide access to a free education appropriate to my students’ learning style. All students have a right to Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) through Federal Law.  My kids were not learning how to read in the classroom and the school didn’t seem to be doing anything. Oregon legislation has changed since my kids first started school and schools are required to do more to address dyslexia. But is it enough? You may have to advocate for the youth in your life. 

Things to consider...

Mental Health:

  • Research has shown that individuals with learning disabilities: 
    • may experience increased levels of anxiety.  
    • may be at greater risk for depression.  
    • experience higher levels of loneliness. 
    • may have a lower self-concept (self-esteem).  
    • are at greater risk for substance abuse. 
    • may be at greater risk for juvenile delinquency.
  • 20 percent of children with dyslexia also suffer from depression and another 20 percent suffer from an anxiety disorder.

Incarceration Rates: 

  • Percent of adults in custody with dyslexia: 48% 
  • Percent of adolescents with learning disabilities that will be arrested three to five years out of high school: 31%

These facts are alarming. But there is good news… intervention helps! When modern, research based instruction is put into place in grades K-2, the reading disability rate drops.

Knowing where to go or who to talk to get an assessment for dyslexia can be difficult. Many states have passed legislation to identify dyslexia in children early on.  If you aren’t in school or you feel that your school is missing something, check out our Uncovering Dyslexia blog post which points to places in Multnomah County who will privately assess for dyslexia. 

Resources for families affected by Dyslexia: 

Looking for books to share with your family? Here are some fiction books for kids and teens featuring characters with dyslexia, and here are some non-fiction books on dyslexia written for kids. For more information on Dyslexia, including some book recommendations for caregivers, please see our previous post on Uncovering Dyslexia.

- Desiree, Rockwood Branch Library Makerspace Program Specialist

COVID-19 continues to limit our access to public spaces. Many of our everyday activities, like school, work, doctor’s visits and banking are now online. This makes personal information vulnerable to cybercriminals. Learn more about how to protect yourself online.

Protect your passwords!

One of the most common ways scammers can get at your data is by stealing passwords to important accounts. Making good passwords is one of the easiest and most useful ways to keep your data safe and sound.

Update often.

  • Update passwords often to protect from scammers, and make your accounts less open to large data leaks. Experts suggest updating passwords every 3 months.

Use long phrases instead of short words.

  • Try using famous quotes, common sayings, or even song lyrics for your passwords. Long phrases like “we all live in a yellow submarine” are easy to remember, and harder for a computer to guess.
  • Add numbers, capital letters and special characters to your passwords. (For example, P4$$w0rD.) This is an easy way to make your password more secure. Be careful not to make it too hard to remember.

Create unique passwords for each specific account.  

  • Reusing passwords between accounts puts many accounts at risk. If a scammer gets one password, they can open every account connected to that password.
  • Focus on making your most important accounts safe. Start with your banks, social media or health insurance.

Yellow diamond sign that says Scam Alert

Recognize common scams

Internet scams are becoming more and more common. Cybercriminals make up new ways to get your data. Here are some of the most common scams.

Phishing scams

One of the most popular scams is Phishing. Phishing is when scammers pretend to be a reliable source — like a business, a government agency or even a relative, to get at your personal info. They send bogus emails, phone calls and text messages, trying to get a “bite” from victims. The most common phishing scam is an email with hyperlinks to fake websites that can steal passwords, or infect your computer with a virus.

Look for these signs to spot phishing emails:

  • Grammar and spelling mistakes
  • Strange/unfamiliar email addresses
  • Scary language, like threats of legal action, or demands for money
  • Offers too good to be true, like a big cash prize

Gift card scams

One popular scam is when a scammer tells you to buy a gift card to pay a fake bill or fee. There are many types of this scam, such as:

  • A problem with your Social Security account
  • A power company threatening to cut off your service
  • A message that you won a big cash prize, if you buy a card first
  • A grandchild or relative who suddenly asks for money with no warning

Coronavirus scams

With more business moving online because of COVID-19, scammers have created new scams that play on our fears of COVID-19, such as:

  • Unexpected texts/calls asking you to pay for a vaccine 
  • Scary warnings about new COVID cases in your area
  • Offers for fake COVID tests to steal your insurance info
  • Notes that a package you didn’t order is on its way, with a link to its “tracking number”

In short

While the internet can be a scary place, following just a few basic tips can help you stop cybercriminals and enjoy yourself online. Our three most important tips are:

  1. Take care to create strong passwords, and reuse them as little as possible.
  2. NEVER click on any links from an email you did not expect, or a phone number you do not know.
  3. If in doubt, remember that ANY request to pay a bill or fee with a gift card IS A SCAM.

If you see any of the scams listed here, you can call the AARP Fraud-Watch Helpline at 877-908-3360, or contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Find more password protection tips at the AARP fraud watch network.

Check out more info about coronavirus scams at Consumer Reports.

Want to learn more about internet scams?  Check out the Federal Trade Commission's glossary of common scams.

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

Multnomah County School Districts

Multnomah County school districts continue to provide meal assistance during comprehensive distance education. The SUN Service System also has information on accessing food during COVID-19 closures.

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

Centennial [updated 4/5/21]

The Centennial School District will distribute food on Mondays and Wednesdays (see below for times and locations). If there is no school on a Monday due to a holiday, food distribution will be held on Tuesday that week. 
Food distributions will continue throughout the time students are in Comprehensive Distance Learning. The walk up / drive up sites are:
  • Mondays
  • Butler Creek Elementary - 2789 SW Butler Rd., Gresham OR 97080 - 11am - 1pm
  • Meadows Elementary – 18009 SE Brooklyn St., Portland OR 97236 – 11:30am - 1:30pm
  • Oliver Elementary - 15840 SE Taylor St., Portland OR 97233 - 11am - 1pm
  • Parklane Elementary – 15811 SE Main St., Portland OR 97233 –  11am - 1pm
  • Patrick Lynch Elementary – 1546 SE 169th Pl. – by kitchen door  Mondays 11:30am - 1:30pm
  • Wednesdays
  • Centennial High School – 3505 SE 182nd Ave., Gresham OR 97030 – 11:30am - 1:30pm
  • Pleasant Valley Elementary - 17625 SE Foster Rd., Gresham OR 97080 - 11:30am - 1:30pm
  • Powell Butte Elementary – 3615 SE 174th Ave., Portland OR 97236 – 11:30am - 1:30pm

Food for Families, a nonprofit  food pantry / mobile market created by Centennial High School  students, has distributions at Centennial High School, 4-6 pm on the second and fourth Wednesdays. You will need to complete an authorization form prior to pick up. Schedule and forms are available on their website.

Corbett [updated 4/14/21]

For students on free and reduced lunch or if your family is in need during these trying times, lunch pick-up will be once a week to decrease the exposure of staff. Pick-up will be on Mondays from 9 am to 1 pm.  Meal bags will have snacks and lunches for a four-day school week for each student in your family. The Food Service Manager will be recording pickup information to comply with requirements of the Free & Reduced Lunch program. Students attending hybrid in-person classes will receive a daily sack lunch.

If you need lunches delivered, or if these times do not work for you, please email Seth Tucker at stucker@corbett.k12.or.us.

David Douglas [updated 4/19/21] 

To Go meal bags with breakfast and lunch are available Monday-Friday for families in distance learning.  Meal sites at bus stops are Fridays only, 11:50 am-12:50 pm. Students who attend hybrid in-school learning will receive two days of meals each day they attend. 
 To Go meals are available at the following locations. 8:00am to 8:30am Mondays through Thursdays; 12:00pm to 1:00 pm Fridays. More information available here.
  • Cherry Park Elementary - 1930 SE 104th Ave.
  • Earl Boyles Elementary - 10822 SE Bush St.
  • Gilbert Heights Elementary - 12839 SE Holgate Blvd.
  • Gilbert Park Elementary - 13132 SE Ramona St.
  • Lincoln Park Elementary - 13200 SE Lincoln St.
  • Menlo Park Elementary - 12900 NE Glisan St.
  • Mill Park Elementary - 1900 SE 117th Ave.
  • Ventura Park Elementary - 145 SE 117th Ave.
  • West Powellhurst Elementary - 2921 SE 116th Ave.
  • Alice Ott Middle School - 12500 SE Ramona St.
  • Floyd Light Middle School - 10800 SE Washington St.
  • Ron Russell Middle School - 3955 SE 112th Ave.
  • Fir Ridge Campus - 11215 SE Market St.
  • David Douglas High School (South) - 1500 SE 130th Ave. Note: no meal pickup Monday through Thursday. Fridays only, 12:00pm to 1:00pm



Gresham-Barlow [updated 4/12/21]

Información en español| Информация на русском языке

Beginning April 7th, Meal Box Kits will be delivered by school bus and also be available for curbside pickup. 

Meal box kits will contain seven days' worth of meals.  An online form must be completed to participate. Meal Kit Boxes can be picked up once a week at the following schools on Wednesdays from 4:00pm to 6:00pm.
  • Gresham High School - 1200 N Main St., Gresham, OR 97030
  • Gordon Russell Middle School - 3625 SE Powell Valley Rd ., Gresham, OR 97080
  • East Gresham Elementary - 900 SE 5th St., Gresham, OR 97080
  • Hollydale Elementary - 505 SW Birdsdale Dr., Gresham, OR 97080
  • North Gresham Elementary - 1001 SE 217th Ave., Gresham, OR 97030

In addition to serving meals at the sites above, buses will be dropping off meals in neighborhoods and at various locations in the more rural part of our school district.

Parkrose [updated 4/22/21]

Grab & Go Meal Sites will be open on school days, 11:00 am-12:00 pm. Any child 18 or under may pick up breakfast and lunch at any one of the following sites:

  • Parkrose Middle School - 11800 NE Shaver St, Portland OR 97220
  • Prescott Elementary - 10410 NE Prescott St, Portland OR 97220
  • Russell Elementary - 2700 NE 127th Ave, Portland OR 97230
  • Sacramento Elementary - 11400 NE Sacramento St, Portland OR 97220
  • Shaver Elementary - 3701 NE 131st Pl, Portland OR 97230

Students who are onsite for hybrid learning will receive an afterschool meal at the end of the school day. 

Portland [updated 4/5/21]

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Beginning March 29th, all school meals will continue to be free for all students in all schools, and no student ID or names are needed to receive meals. Once a student returns to hybrid in-person instruction, meals will be served at their school at the end of each of their in-person sessions. If a student is staying in distance learning -- or if their hybrid in-person learning has not begun -- they should visit any of our new meal distribution sites between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday to pick up meals. See this link for more information.
  • Beaumont Middle School, 4043 NE Fremont St.
  • Franklin High School, 5405 SE Woodward St.
  • George Middle School, 10000 N Burr Ave.
  • Harriet Tubman Middle School, 2231 N Flint Ave.
  • Hosford Middle School, 2303 SE 28th Pl.
  • Ida B. Wells High School, 1151 SW Vermont St.
  • Jackson Middle School, 10625 SW 35th Ave.
  • Jefferson High School, 5210 N Kerby Ave.
  • Lane Middle School, 7200 SE 60th Ave.
  • Leodis V. McDaniel @ Marshall High School, 3905 SE 91st Ave.
  • Mt. Tabor Middle School, 5800 SE Ash St.
  • Ockley Green Middle School, 6031 N Montana Ave.
  • Robert Gray Middle School, 5505 SW 23rd Ave.
  • Roosevelt High School, 6941 N Central St.
  • Roseway Heights Middle School, 7334 NE Siskiyou St.

Reynolds [updated 5/5/21]

Breakfast and lunch available for children up to age 18 and for curbside pickup (in cars or on foot) or in the parking lot. Mondays and Thursdays, except on holidays (please check the Reynolds website for dates).
Elementary Schools:  (11:30am–12:30pm)
  • Alder Elementary School - 17200 SE Alder St, Portland OR 97233
  • Davis Elementary School - 19501 NE Davis St, Portland OR 97230
  • Fairview Elementary School - 225 Main St, Fairview OR 97024
  • Glenfair Elementary School - 15300 NE Glisan St, Portland OR 97230
  • Hartley Elementary School - 701 NE 185th Ave, Portland OR 97230
  • Margaret Scott Elementary School - 14700 NE Sacramento St, Portland OR 97230
  • Salish Ponds Elementary School - 1210 NE 201st Ave, Fairview OR 97024
  • Sweetbriar Elementary School - 501 SE Sweetbriar Ln, Troutdale OR 97060
  • Troutdale Elementary School - 648 SE Harlow Ave, Troutdale OR 97060
  • Wilkes Elementary School - 17020 NE Wilkes Rd, Portland OR 97230
  • Woodland Elementary School - 21607 NE Glisan St, Fairview OR 97024
Middle/High Schools:  (11:30am–1:00pm)
  • HB Lee Middle School - 1121 NE 172nd Ave, Portland OR 97230
  • Reynolds Middle School - 1200 NE 201st Ave, Fairview OR 97024
  • Reynolds High School - 1698 SW Cherry Park Rd, Troutdale OR 97060
Public food pantries are being held at the locations listed below. It is recommended that you arrive early as supplies run out quickly.  Please check the website for closures during the holidays.
  • Glenfair Elementary School: Tuesdays, 3:30-5:00 pm
  • Reynolds High School: Last Tuesday of the month, 2:30 pm
  • Alder Elementary School: Wednesdays, 2:30-4:00 pm
  • Reynolds Middle School: Fridays, 4:00-5:30 pm
  • Wilkes Elementary School: First Friday of the month, 3:00-4:30 pm
  • Davis Elementary School: 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): Tuesdays and Saturday, doors open at 11:30am, shopping is 12-1pm.

Mainspring Food Pantry (NE) continues to operate as an open air, farmers market, self select, walk/roll-in food pantry, Tuesdays thru Thursdays 9:30am-12:ishpm. 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): 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): offering prepacked food boxes for pick up,  Monday – Friday 9am– 11am. They also provide a mobile food pantry service to some neighborhoods.

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): offering food boxes, Tuesday-Thursday, 11 am-2 pm.

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. Hours of operation are Tuesdays 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Thursdays 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 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.

Partners for a Hunger-free Oregon (SE)

Also see this food access resource guide compiled by Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) and his team.


There are many great local businesses stepping up to make sure students are fed. Please check their websites or call to confirm. Meals are available while supplies last and restaurants may also have limited hours or may close.

2305 SE 50th Ave.
Registration required. Food pickup is Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 12-1 pm
1430 SE Water Street
Free lunches for children and families in need. Please call 503-234-7085

The Business Plan The first step in starting a small business is a business plan. Use Gale Business: Entrepreneurship for full access to the Business Plans Handbook. There you will find general templates as well as examples of plans for hundreds of specific businesses. As you create your business plan, other resources listed below may be helpful. The other sections below will help you build your business plan with library resources.

Industry Research 
ABI-INFORM will allow you to research key elements of an industry and find overviews, opportunities and trends to help determine your business strategies. Mergent Intellect and Mergent Online are databases with access to private and public U.S and international business data, facts and figures, and industry profiles. Business Collection is a place to find articles on management, finance and industry information.

Use SimplyAnalytics to find out more about your consumers and your competition and create reports and maps to compare data and hone in on target areas. Linkedin Learning (formerly Lynda.com) can help you with courses on marketing and other business skills. ReferenceUSA is a resource for creating mailing lists and learning about businesses that already exist in a particular area. 

Facilities and Location
SimplyAnalytics can help you research locations for your business by showing you maps and reports with demographics of your customers and where your competition is.

Administration and Management
Use Business Source Premier and Business Collection to find articles about starting and managing a small business including management, finance and industry information. To learn skills to better manage your business, try Linkedin Learning and explore learning courses on topics like business, software, technology, and more. 

Linkedin Learning  has courses to learn about Human Resources (HR) and other aspects of hiring and managing people. 

Financial Planning
Find video courses to learn about finance and accounting for your small business using Linkedin Learning . Research articles about finance in the Business Collection.

You may also find these local community services helpful:
Business Xpress Start up Toolkit and Starting a Business in Oregon - Basic steps and requirements from the State of Oregon.
Portland Small Business Administration - “provides counseling, capital, and contracting expertise to entrepreneurs and small business developers”.
Portland SCORE (Service Core of Retired Executives) - Get connected with an experienced mentor at no cost. SCORE also has free workshops and other resources. 

‘Tis the season of flowers, showers and sun breaks. Spring has sprung.

Yet, Nicole Newsom, a program coordinator in Youth Services Outreach, is already thinking about summer. Her mind, though, is less on cloudless blue skies and warm weather, and more on books — as in how Multnomah County Library’s book distribution program for youth will unfold.

Library staff handing out books to mom and child

“Are the parks going to look like pre-COVID times or are they going to look like last summer?’’ Nicole wonders. “We kind of have to be prepared for both of those options.’’ 

The COVID-19 pandemic dictates as much, as it’s arrival in 2020 largely upended gatherings in parks and other lunch sites— places where the library distributes book bags in the summer to families, and readers and readers-to-be, from newborn to age 18.

“Normally, we would take Summer Reading game boards and books and prizes to those sites and meet kids where they were,’’ Nicole says. 

Library interactions in that way changed dramatically as the state limited large gatherings and introduced physical distancing measures to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

And though logistically problematic, the situation was not viewed as a long-term inconvenience by Jennifer Studebaker, youth services manager for Multnomah County Library.

“We tried to approach this work from the yes-place,’’ she says. “We worked to find ways to get high-quality and culturally reflective materials into the hands of both partner organizations and youth and families directly.’’

For Nicole, it became the right project at the right time. In her regular work, Nicole routinely manages logistics, from working with volunteers to apply identification stickers on books, to organizing books in bags or boxes. So last summer, Nicole helped Youth Outreach Services redirect the book distribution program to meet the pandemic challenge.

“I was sort of in that position to take on whatever came up next,’’ she says. 

Nicole started her library career in 1991 as a clerk and has been in Youth Services Outreach since 2008. Over the past 10 months, she’s worked with more than 30 library colleagues, all pursuing a common goal and purpose.

Studebaker commends the group’s efforts and work — a combination of pain-staking attention to detail and heavy lifting. “Each item has to be selected, ordered, received, and processed,’’ she says.

“In normal times, the library has a large team of volunteers to help process these materials. During the pandemic, access services library staff have stepped up to the challenge and worked through a mountain of materials to ensure youth in our community have relevant books to take home with them.’’

Since last summer through February 2021, the program has delivered about 44,000 books in Multnomah County Library-branded bags to youth across the county through various summer lunch sites and housing communities. She says roughly 3,000-8,000 books have been distributed monthly since last summer.

The book distribution program accesses youth in housing communities through a Multnomah County Library partnership with Home Forward, a public corporation housing authority that serves Multnomah County, Portland, Gresham, and other communities in the county. Books are provided by publishers through Book Rich Environments, a program of the National Book Foundation.

The Library Foundation funds cultural and language books for non-English speaking communities, including African languages, and African-American Black cultural books. The funding allows the library to provide high-quality, culturally- and linguistically-appropriate books for targeted communities.

“We can give kids books that they can see themselves in,’’ Nicole says. “Without those additional funds, we would not be able to provide books in Arabic, Tigrinya, Oromo, Burmese, and many other languages.’’

book distribution van

Support from The Library Foundation also provides “the newest and best books by and about BIPOC people,’’ she says, referring to Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities.

In most instances, books delivered to housing communities will be distributed to children and families by a resident coordinator. But on occasion, the team makes deliveries directly to the youth from a Multnomah County Library van.

“We’re standing outside in the hot summer sun, and they sit down on the curb, and they immediately take out the books and start reading one,’’ Nicole says of an outing last summer. 

“I had a couple of kids tell me, ‘I haven’t had new books to read in four months, and I’m so excited to have some new books to read.’ ’’

For Nicole, this is an example of the work at its most rewarding. 

“We’ve seen appreciation and gratitude from people,’’ she says. “It’s been really fabulous.’’


Written by Wade Nkrumah


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