Portland Art Museum feeds hundreds on Christmas Day

Portland Art Museum feeds hundreds on Christmas Day

Hundreds of people enjoy dinner, music and Santa Claus on Christmas thanks to the nonprofit Potluck in the Park, which held the event inside the Portland Art Museum. (KATU Photo)

PORTLAND, Ore. —

‘Tis the season of giving: At Potluck in the Park, folks pass love, not judgment.

For 25 years, the nonprofit organization has been dishing up hot meals on Christmas Day. For the past five years, it’s been at the Portland Art Museum.

More than a thousand people lined up Tuesday to get plates of turkey and trays of desserts. Their dinner was accompanied by live music and Santa Claus. The atmosphere gave folks a place to stay warm and feel a sense of community.

Rosina Strevig, unexpectedly, ran into friends at the dinner. She has been homeless for five years. She’s recovering from surgery and is out of work; she’s currently living off food stamps, but she keeps her head up.

"This year I thought I was going to have a really crappy Christmas, but I’ve been blessed," she said.

Kerry Lacy got her first family portrait at this dinner with her partner and three kids. They recently fell on hard times, but are grateful to be spending time together this Christmas.

"This is good for us to be as a family and be able to enjoy the public and community that’s helped us," said Lacy.

Volunteers of the nonprofit have dished up hot meals to the homeless every Sunday for the past 28 years in downtown Portland. They have served meals for 1,427 consecutive Sundays since 1991.

Folks at the dinner didn’t leave empty-handed. Volunteers gave away hats and free socks with toiletries inside.

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