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Portland nonprofit Feed the Mass struggling to keep up with increased need amid inflation costs

The nonprofit supplies hundreds of meals a week to people in need.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Increasing food prices are having a huge impact on Portland area nonprofits that work to provide food for people in need.

Crews at Feed the Mass, located in Portland's Old Town, make up to 1,000 meals a week and can feed around 700 people each week. The price of the ready-to-go meals have increased from $5 to $8 in the last year because of inflation. 

Marketing Director Mark Kronquist said the crew is paid a living wage, but the inflated cost of food is impacting everything the organization does.

"The number of people coming in for meals has gone up dramatically," Kronquist said. "A lot of food programs that provided food have gone away. Demand is going up, prices are going up and if it cost me three bucks more to make a meal, that's three bucks we can't afford to pay the people."

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Feed the Mass supplies food for women's shelters, after-school programs and organizations that help those struggling with homelessness. Kronquist said there are a ton of other organizations that would like to get on the list but it's hard to keep up with the need. Regina Ramirez works with All Good Northwest which helps homeless people. She said the non-profit is crucial. 

"We wouldn't have lunch for them, they would go without lunch if it wasn't for them," Ramirez said. 

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It's not just inflation plaguing Feed the Mass, it's also crime in Old Town. Their building has been broken into as well as vandalized and their truck was stolen. Kronquist said they want to continue to hang on in the neighborhood. 

"We now leave the office in a buddy system," Kronquist said. "It's the reality of downtown Portland and I want to fix that."

Feed the Mass is in need of monetary and food donations. In the summer, 80% of the food came from donors but it drops in the winter to around 30%. If people are interested in donating, they can go here.

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