Over the last few months, the Neighborhood House Food Pantry solicited feedback from program users on its plan to move to a larger, improved space. Almost 130 people responded, and the results indicated that, as we hoped, a new space would benefit the people using these services.
The purpose of a new Food Pantry is to make it more accessible to more people. The current Food Pantry, located below our administrative offices in Multnomah Village, is not equipped to serve the number of people who need assistance on the west side of Portland. Its small “shopping” space makes wait times high, and the limited storage space impacts the amount of food that can be given out in person and delivered. Further, the limited parking and lack of easy public transportation makes it difficult to access.
Our vision for the new Food Pantry is a much larger space with adequate storage, “shopping” space, and parking, as well as easy access to public transportation and a comfortable waiting area. A new space will allow us to fill more delivery orders and potentially increase our current delivery area.
Results from the survey highlighted the need for these changes, as many people indicated that they have difficulty finding transportation to and from the Pantry. Over 50% of respondents noted that better accessibility through transportation would cause them to increase their visits to the Pantry. Over 60% shared the need for an increased “shopping” space. And, since nearly 75% of Pantry users drive or take public transit to the Pantry, the importance of an improved parking lot and proximity to bus lines is essential.
“We are pleased to see that the benefits of the new Food Pantry space are in line with what people need,” said Jim Cooper, Food Pantry Manager. “Once the location is finalized, we are eager to be able to serve more people, more effectively.”