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Small business comes to rescue of wildfire victims

Photo: Left: Bar West, Portland, Right: Ruddick Wood, Newberg

By Oregon Small Business Association

As wildfires rage across Oregon, restaurants—already struggling after shutdowns from the coronavirus pandemic—have stepped forward to feed firefighters, evacuees and others in need.

Malka, a crowd-funded eccentric restaurant, has offered free rice and vegetable bowls to those in need.

Other restaurants providing free meals are Sammich, a sandwich shop in Ashland that is also raising money for people forced to evacuate, and Olympic Provisions, which donated 1,000 pepperettes (small pepperoni sticks) to the Clackamas Fire Department. Newberg’s Ruddick/Wood bistro partnered with national charity World Central Kitchen to provide free meals for thousands of firefighters and residents fleeing the fires.

Owners of soul food cart Kee’s Loaded Kitchen and Italian restaurant Renata partnered to raise money to feed firefighters, probably those in the Tualatin Valley, with pulled pork, potato salad, barbecue beef, baked beans, pasta and salad.

Local fast-food chain Burgerville closed all of its restaurants for a day, except for the one at the Portland Airport, and donated $10,000 to United Way’s wildlife relief fund. Kate’s Ice Cream, a vegan creamery, planned to donate a portion of its sales to Feed the Mass, and members of Your Neighborhood Restaurant Group—steakhouse Laurelhurst Markets, Ate-Oh-Ate Hawaiian, Reverend’s BBQ, and Big’s Chicken—donated 5 percent of their weekend sales to the Red Cross Cascades, which serves Oregon and Washington.

Bar West, a cocktail and wine bar, closed its outdoor service to accept donations of food and clothing, which will be distributed via Feed the Mass and C3NE church and food pantry.

People who want to help can donate via many of the restaurants’ Instagram pages.