Oregon is facing unprecedented fires as hundreds of thousands of acres burn. Thousands have lost homes and been forced to evacuate from towns like Phoenix and Molalla; some have even lost their lives. And while the restaurant industry is on life support and mutual aid kitchens and other providers are stretched thin, some places are still rallying to provide meals for evacuees, firefighters, and others affected by the smoke, ash, and flames. All of these places need the support from anyone who can help, be it in the form of volunteer time or donations. Those looking to make a more direct contribution can donate to the Red Cross Cascades or the Wildland Firefighter Foundation.
Mutual Aid and Nonprofits
The nonprofit food rescue and kitchen class that arose in part as a response to the pandemic is continuing its mission to serve hundreds of free meals every week; as evacuees escape the fires, its burdens are even heavier. The kitchen is looking for donations and volunteer work, posting its immediate needs on Instagram.
Local advocacy group Don’t Shoot PDX will be bringing crucial items like food, water, hygiene products, bedding, and clothing to indigenous communities affected by the fires. The organization is looking for donations; those who are able and wanting to make a contribution should visit the organization’s Instagram page for drop-off information.
A mutual-aid and activist group in Portland, Symbiosis is working to provide housing options and supplies for those affected by the fires. Its priorities are evacuees, Klamath Tribes, migrant workers, and those on the streets of Portland. Information on drop-off points and desired donations can be found on the website.
The community-service that provides aid to protests, rallies, vigils, and other community events, Snack Bloc has beens stretched thin between the fires, police protests, and alt-right demonstrations. But the organization is still devoted to supporting communities, and is looking for any donations in order to provide supplies. Its Instagram page is the best place to get in touch and make donations.
This longstanding union and aid organization supports farmworkers and latinx working families. The organization is currently accepting supply donations for farmworkers and families affected by the fires. Learn more here.
Mutual aid group of street medics and crisis workers, PDX Ewoks has been providing food, medical care, clothing, and other support to any who need it. The group is currently working in Milwaukie, and its Instagram page is the best place to find new information and ways to donate or support its efforts.
A local group dedicated to cleaning up after protests, Team Raccoon has worked to set up a community aid center in Milwaukie for those affected by the fires. The center offers food and clothing, and the group is accepting donations and volunteer help. As with other mutual aid groups, its Instagram page is the best place to find information and updates.
Bars and Restaurants
Local distillery Westward Whiskey, which specializes in American malt whiskey, is donating $10 from every bottle sold in Oregon to the American Red Cross. Westward sells its whiskey at Oregon liquor stores, its online store with delivery, and at its tasting rooms.
The mega-chain of fast Chinese food, Panda Express has donated 1,400 meals to fire fighters, volunteers, and evacuees in Washington and Oregon during the fires, as well as provided hotels for its employees who have lost homes.
Antica Terra and Berlu
Willamette Valley winery Antica Terra and the chic, minimalist fine dining restaurant Berlu have teamed up for a benefit dinner on Saturday, September 19. The takeout menu is $70, and includes four courses for two diners as well as a bottle of Antica Terra chardonnay. 100 percent of the proceeds will go to the Portland Area CSA Coalition, which is helping small farms affected by the fires.
Previously known as 45 North, the sleek new wine bar now called Stem is celebrating its rebranding with donations. From September 24 to September 30, the bar will donate a full 100 percent of its online and shop sales to the American Red Cross’ Oregon Wildfire Relief Efforts.
Despite its struggles to stay open during a pandemic and wildfires, Filipino, family-oriented restaurant Magna is donating multiple rice bowls to the Charles Jordan Community Center, which has been turned into an emergency evacuation area.
The stylish cocktail and wine bar West has joined the rest of the city and closed its patio service despite the waning weeks left for comfortable outside dining. The bar will be accepting and distributing donations of food and clothing to organizations like Feed the Mass and C3NE church and food pantry.
The eccentric, maximalist Malka opened its crowd-funded restaurant space just in time to shut down again for the pandemic, but has been providing free meals however throughout the last few months. Currently, the restaurant is offering a limited amount of free rice and vegetable bowls, however it can. Those looking for food and those looking to buy meals for people in need can send the restaurant a direct message at its Instagram page.
The excellent sandwich shop known for its pastrami, Sammich began its life in Ashland Oregon, which has been especially impacted by the fires. The restaurant is offering free meals to those in need, also fundraising for families that have been forced to evacuate. People looking to help out can visit its Instagram page for information on how to donate.
Lauded steakhouse Laurelhurst Market, casual Hawaiian spot Ate-Oh-Ate, barbecue restaurant Reverend’s BBQ, and fried and grilled chicken shop Big’s Chicken will donate five percent of Saturday and Sunday’s sales to the Red Cross Cascades, which services Oregon and Washington. Due to the smoke, they may each be closed for patio dining, but will have delivery and takeout options available all weekend.
No stranger to community support and providing meals, soul food cart Kee’s Loaded Kitchen has teamed up with Italian restaurant Renata to raise money for some meals for firefighters. The team is still in the early stages of planning and uncertain which fire teams they’ll be able to feed, though Kee’s owner Kiauna Nelson says they’ll most likely focus on Tualatin Valley’s. The menu will include pulled pork, potato salad, barbecue beef, baked beans, pasta, salad, and desserts. Nelson is looking for donations on Venmo, Paypal, and Cash App, which can be found on the restaurant’s Instagram page.
Vegan pop-up ice-creamery Kate’s Ice Cream will donate a portion of its sales today to Feed The Mass, though that’s on the condition that the shop will be able to safely open. The ice creamery’s Instagram page will have updates on opening.
Local purveyor of charcuterie and sausages, Olympia Provisions has donated 1,000 pepperettes — its line of smaller, shelf-stable pepperoni sticks — to the Clackamas Fire Department.
The local fast-food chain Burgerville has closed all of its locations — save its airport branch— for at least the day, and has donated $10,000 to United Way’s wildfire relief fund.
The sleek neighborhood cocktail bar has closed for service due to the smoke, but has remained opened as a drop-off point for many mutual aid group donations, including Symbiosis and Snack Bloc. The bar is accepting donations that will go towards indigenous people in the Northwest.
This Salem-area restaurant has been donating meals to unhoused and evacuated residents sheltering in town, serving meals alongside Kn95 masks. To donate to chef-owner Jonathan Jones’ efforts, send money via venmo to the account epiloguekitchen.
Casual pub Parkside has closed its dining rooms for service and switched to takeout only, but will also serve as a drop-off point for donations, with workers taking weekly carloads of clothes, food, and other necessities to United Way in Salem.
A Latinx-owned brewpub in Salem, Xicha collaborated with a State Farm worker to serve 200 burritos to firefighters via United Way.
A chic and rustic bistro in Newberg, Ruddick/Wood is in the midst some of the most extreme fires in the upper part of the state. The bistro has teamed up with the national charity World Central Kitchen to provide thousands of free meals for firefighters and evacuees. Though not currently accepting donations due to the partnership, the restaurant is looking for a refrigerated truck or trailer to store food.