PORTLAND, Ore. — Ordinarily, Easter meals at the mission mean a sit down celebration.  But this, is no ordinary time.
Instead, Union Gospel Mission is sending out search and rescue teams to hand out meals in boxes to the homeless.
The mission’s Courtney Dodds explains they’re using, “Our van that goes out to visit the homeless camps and tent cities that are spread out all over the city.”
They’re doubling the usual number of Easter weekend meals, to 950, according to Dodds.  She says the need is much greater now because of COVID-19.
“The pandemic and the resulting downturn in the economy has definitely increased the demand that we’re seeing.  Pretty quickly within a week or two we started seeing a lot of new faces,” says Dodds.
They’re fixing up more than double their usual Easter weekend meals: but instead of a gathering, they’re giving out boxes.
 Union Gospel Mission will hand out meals to those in need in downtown Portland, and to the River District Navigation Center.  But they have to do it safely.
They plan holiday meals tonight at 8, tomorrow afternoon at two, and a special Easter celebration for the Mission’s Life Change recovery homes on Sunday.
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