Sisters of the Road Serves Up…
Food insecurity, poverty and poor health go together. For people hungry and poor, high caloric fast food is more accessible than fresh, nutrient dense foods. Such foods are not affordable for those struggling to feed their families, raising risk for chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
Sisters Of The Road believes that every person has the right to dine with dignity and to be nourished by healthy food. But for many people experiencing poverty, cheap foods like high sodium fast foods and low nutrient ramen noodles are what are accessible and affordable. Thanks to groundbreaking community partnerships, Sisters’ Cafe is bringing healthful, fresh foods to people experiencing homelessness and poverty in Portland, Oregon.
Sisters Of The Road was founded in 1979 using community organizing—that is, working with community members in Portland’s Old Town Chinatown Neighborhood to address homelessness and poverty. Community members experiencing extreme poverty spoke of their desire to have a nutritious, hot meal in an atmosphere of dignity and safety, and the opportunity to trade their labor for a good meal. For over 32 years, Sisters Of The Road has been the safe, welcoming space the community envisioned together.
Sisters’ non-profit Cafe is a neighborhood favorite, and the price of a meal here might surprise you: roasted pepper and zucchini quesadillas with a glass of blueberry juice was a recent favorite and cost only $1.50. Customers can pay for these top-quality meals with cash, SNAP benefits, or by working for 15 minutes in the Cafe.
Beginning in 2010, Sisters’ Kitchen Team began a concerted effort to source more donations of fresh, organic and locally-produced foods to serve to our customers, people living in extreme poverty. In August 2010, Sisters began a partnership with B-line Sustainable Urban Delivery for their B-shares program. B-shares gleans produce and foods that would otherwise go to waste from stores like Whole Foods and delivers them to Sisters by bicycle each morning. The daily menu is shaped by these deliveries.
Thanks in part to B-shares, approximately 95% of the produce Sisters now serves is fresh (not canned or frozen). Fresh green salads, sides of fruit and sauces chock full of veggies are now standard fare at Sisters. Sisters pays pennies on the dollar for these foods from B-shares, and could not afford to serve them without this partnership.
Another crucial community partner is Bob’s Red Mill. Every other month, Bob’s donates hundreds of pounds of staple ingredients like organic flour, rice and cornmeal. These ingredients are key in our famous rice, beans ‘n’ cornbread—a hearty and healthy daily offering.
Sisters’ newest partnership is with Food Works, a youth empowerment and employment program. Youth leaders are involved in every level of the organization—marketing and outreach, business planning, public speaking, support of new crew members, and all farm operations from seeding to selling at the farmers market. Food Works is making weekly deliveries to Sisters June through October.
Thanks to these and many other partnerships, Sisters is confronting hunger with an eye on food justice and equity. Everyone deserves fresh, wholesome foods, and anyone can find that at Sisters Of The Road.
More About This Charity
Hunger and Poverty Relief
Sisters of the Road
Sisters Of The Road exists to build authentic relationships and alleviate the hunger of isolation in an atmosphere of nonviolence and gentle personalism that nurtures the whole individual, while seeking systemic solutions that reach the roots of homelessness and poverty to end them forever.
- This Achievement raised $16,000
- This charity raised $1,247,155 in the past year
- This Achievement helped 12,000 people in the past year
- Over 51,600 hot, nourishing meals served in FY10-11; 95% of the produce we serve is fresh, not canned or frozen, and 80% is organic