The market is open to everyone – no questions asked
Ripe red tomatoes, corn in their husks, ruby red strawberries, crisp celery, shiny green jalapeños and bell peppers, fresh bread and more were all part of the Free Food Market.
This Free Food Market was set up for the first time Tuesday, July 12 at the Hillsboro Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) Self-Sufficiency Programs (SSP) Office’s parking lot at 5300 N.E. Elam Young Parkway.
The market is a collaboration between SSP, Child Welfare Division, Aging and People with Disabilities and the Oregon Food Bank. It is free for anyone who needs food – no questions asked.
The idea for a free food market started more than two years ago. But then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit Oregon and public events were put on hold. But recently SSP/CW District Manager Rolanda Garcia said the idea picked up again. The ODHS programs partnered with the Oregon Food Bank who came and supplied all the wonderful produce and foods. The fresh vegetables were all purchased by the Food Bank.
Having fresh produce and other foods is especially important for people right now with the cost of food and the price of gas going up.
“The Food Bank is an amazing partner. It takes a lot of work to haul all this produce to our office. It took a whole team from our offices from across the county to make this happen for people,” Garcia said.
It was a popular event with 218 adults; 135 kids; making up 98 families who came to the market.
“It was pretty impressive. We want people to know anybody can come. We don’t ask any questions of people,” Garcia said.
The next Free Food Market will be Tuesday, August 9, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. The markets will be on the second Tuesday of every month. In several months additional Free Food Markets are planned at ODHS offices in Beaverton and Tigard.
“I’m looking forward to many more successful markets and grateful for the partnership with Oregon Food Bank in support of our community,” Hernandez-Garcia said.