Volunteers prepared more than 1,000 meals for people in need on Christmas day.

PORTLAND, Ore. — It was a festive time inside the Fred and Suzanne Fields ballroom at the Portland Art Museum on Southwest Park Avenue on Sunday, Christmas day.

Potluck in the Park partners with the museum to provide a Christmas dinner to people in need. The serve just what you might expect for the holiday: Turkey, potatoes and of course, dessert.

This year, the event moved back inside the Fred and Suzanne Fields ballroom for the first time since 2019. 

“It feels wonderful go get back inside,” said David Utzinger, the coordinator of Potluck in the Park.

Potluck in the Park has been doing a Christmas dinner since 1994. This year marked their 28th year and they were prepared to serve 1,100 meals.

The nonprofit is made up entirely of volunteers, and they play a huge part in pulling off the Christmas dinner. Julia Surtshin is a first time volunteer at the Potluck in the Park event.

“I’m finding out it’s as much for myself as it is for everyone else. It’s great,” Surtshin said. 

Surtshin added that volunteering on Christmas day might be a new tradition for her.

Potluck in the Park was far from being the only event to give back to the community for the holidays. The Union Gospel Mission on Northwest Third Avenue served up 400 warm meals for people experiencing homelessness on Sunday. The Union Gospel Mission kicked off holiday celebrations a week ago, on Dec. 18, by delivering warm meals with help from their Search + Rescue mobile outreach.

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