Like many people in the hospitality industry, Portland-based chef Michael Casper experienced a moment of powerful uncertainty when COVID-19 shut down life as we know it. It was April 2020. His plans for a trip to Southeast Asia were canceled and his employer had laid him off; he found himself sitting on a plastic milk crate in his kitchen wondering what to do next.
Michael started MKC with his stimulus checks + unemployment money. | Photo via Milk Crate Kitchen
Spurred by a desire to help the community and his late grandmother’s sage advice — “If you don’t know what to do, do what you know” — Michael set out to simply provide a few friends and families with a night of not having to cook. Now, his 501c3 nonprofit Milk Crate Kitchen serves meals to families in need across the entire Portland area, from Vancouver to Tigard and Hillsboro to Gresham.
Though the mutual aid project initially emphasized supporting service industry workers, caregivers, and essential workers, its mission is to overcome barriers to food security for anyone in need, no questions asked.
Approx. 3,000 family meals (four individual servings each) have been delivered in two years, free of charge to recipients. Those interested can request a meal Monday through Wednesday, or until capacity is reached. Prep and cook work is completed Thursday + Friday, with contactless delivery carried out on Saturday between 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Nutritional menu items rotate weekly with alternatives for people with dietary restrictions — Sat., June 25’s meal includes red beans and rice with ham or chickpea tempeh, served with braised greens.
Milk Crate Kitchen is completely volunteer-run and donation-funded, and is searching for community partners to help fundraise so it can expand its operation + meet growing demand.
All contributions go directly toward the commercial kitchen rental, food, supplies, and additional needs, like gas mileage reimbursement for volunteers and purchasing a fundraising/donor management software.
Dinolandia | Now-Sat., Sept. 10 | 11 a.m.-7 p.m. | 710 SW Yamhill St. | Free+ | Walk through prehistoric times in this immersive, family-friendly exhibit featuring 1,000+ cutouts by Portland artist Mike Bennett. 🦖
“Walking Through Portland with a Panther” | Thurs., June 23-Sun., June 26 | Times vary | Portland Playhouse, 602 NE Prescott St. | Donation suggested | This solo play celebrates the legacy of Kent Ford, co-founder of Portland’s chapter of the 1960s-era Black empowerment organization.
Good in the Hood | Fri., June 24-Sun., June 26 | Times vary | King School Park, 4906 NE Sixth Ave. | Free | Celebrate diversity + community with a parade, local food vendors, and live music.
Mary Chapin Carpenter | Fri., June 24 | 8 p.m. | Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave. | $45+ | The folk and country music hitmaker sings to all ranges of human emotion, with popular tracks like “Passionate Kisses” and “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her.” 🎶
Santana + Earth, Wind & Fire | Fri., June 24 | 7 p.m. | RV Inn Style Resorts Amphitheater, 17200 NE Delfel Rd., Ridgefield, WA | $29.50+ | Groove to the smooth sounds of the Miraculous Supernatural Tour.
Rip City Ale Fest | Sat., June 25 | 1-4 p.m. | Veterans Memorial Coliseum Commons | $35 | Great Notion puts on this event with food trucks, music, and games; each ticket includes tastings, a Trail Blazers mug, and a ticket to a game early in the season.
We have amonthly guide filled with events + activities you can plan for in advance. Click the button below to bookmark ideas for upcoming date nights, family outings, and time with friends.
Always wear a lifejacket. It’s going to be a sweltering weekend, but water temperatures of local rivers and lakes remain dangerously low. Portland Fire & Rescue will ramp up patrols and is urging caution for swimmers as we move into the time of year when calls for rescues drastically increase. 🌊 (KATU)
Downtown Portland’s Multnomah County Central Library will close for three months beginning Mon., Aug. 1 to accomplish major renovations, like building two new outdoor public terraces, improving ADA access, and restroom remodels. Construction on smaller projects starts this month and should reduce available parking in the area. (Portland Mercury)
Have your past gifts simply not … cut it? Well, the minutely detailed silhouette cutouts from master scissor artist Karl Johnson make a thoughtful present for any occasion. He will be at various stores in the Portland area from Thurs., June 23-Tues., June 28, offering 5-minute sessions for all ages. ✂️
8%. Scientists estimate that’s how much cement production contributes to global greenhouse gas emissions. So, to help the city accomplish its climate emergency goals, several Portland bureaus (water, transportation, and environmental services) will begin using lower-carbon cement mixes in future projects. 💚 (OPB)
Former Trail Blazers player Caleb Swanigan has reportedly died of natural causes, according to the Allen County Indiana Coroner’s Office. Rip City selected the star forward 26th overall in the 2017 NBA Draft, after a standout collegiate career at Purdue University. (KOIN)
Fans of the 1998 film “Paulie” will be pleased to hear a similar, if not as dramatic, story has played out in Portland. Joy, the parrot of Asli + Ozguar Yilmaz, escaped from the balcony of their 23rd floor apartment — blame the local crows — but was returned thanks to a cast of helpful citizens. 🦜 (The Oregonian/Oregon Live)
Portland’s Honor Flight program, part of a network that flies World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam veterans to
Washington, DC to visit memorials and museums, will lift off after a three-year hiatus.
Leo Tautfest, 89, served in the Navy and is heading to the capital for the first time in 45 years this September. 🎖️ (KGW)
When Oregon’s new minimum wage goes into effect Fri., July 1, the state will be divided into three tiers. Workers in more rural counties will earn at least $12.50, others in places like Eugene or Bend will earn $13.50. Portland’s Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties’ rate will rise to $14.75 an hour. 💸 (The Oregonian/Oregon Live)
When Adam Keehn landed in Poland in March, he began contributing to the crucial effort to get medical supplies to those in need in neighboring Ukraine. He is now home in the PNW, but plans to rejoin disaster-recovery nonprofit Americares sometime this year. ⛑️ (KGW)
All hail Queen Anne. The restored + modernized Victorian home, built in 1894 in the architectural style that romanticized Englishmedieval+classicdwellings, has sold in Portland’s historic King neighborhood for $799,000. With captivating stained glass and ornate woodwork, it’s certainly fit for royalty. 👑 (The Oregonian/Oregon Live)
“Real estate resiliency.” The term coined by Opendoor to describe the dedicated approach to home ownership displayed by home buyers + sellers across the country, despite the highly competitive housing market. 🏡 *
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Two new exhibitions open today in the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts and will run until Sat., Aug. 13. Located in Beaverton, the gallery is open + free to the public 12-6 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday.
“Invisibilia,” from Oregon artists Sandra Honda, Mei-Ling Lee, and Jefferson Goolsby, explores Asian American identity and themes ranging from daily life, family, trauma, and generational grief. The photographic journals, mixed media, and performances weave together personal + imagined stories.
Emily Jung Miller’s “1,000 Moons” is a touching tribute to the artist’s grandparents, who died from COVID-19. Each paper circle, made with kelp, sheet music, and other materials related to their lives, represents a meditative corridor of time and a physical pathway of memories for anyone who’s lost a loved one.
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Editor’s pick: In case you missed it, volunteers with the Cascade Geographic Society — the nonprofit in charge of the Shanghai Tunnels — are fighting to keep the historic site’s Underground Tours going and continue its excavation and restoration.
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