Poverty relief in Portland, Oregon is the focus of the Alternative Spring Break program at Sonoma State University this year, April 2-11.
Some 30 students and one staff member from SSU's Join Us Making Progress (JUMP) program will work with community partners in the Portland area as they witness first hand the social implications of the economic downturn. The goal is to transform students into active citizens who are not just aware of the issues but are working to solve them.
JUMP participants will work with community partners who currently support the Portland area: Loaves and Fishes, which is a Meals on Wheels Program, The Northeast Emergency Food Program (NEFP), which meets the urgent food needs of families in Portland, Impact Northwest, whose mission is to help people achieve and maintain self-sufficiency and to prevent and alleviate the effects of poverty and Downtown Chapel, a Catholic parish that believes in healing compassion through service to the poor.
Alternative Spring Break activities include food preparation, serving meals, spending time with partner families and handling administrative work. Students will also donate and prepare a meal at Transition Projects Inc., which is a shelter for people transitioning out of homelessness and ready to get back on their feet.