Gabriel Baron first heard about Crisis Kitchen through a call for support he saw on Facebook. The mutual aid group was providing free meals around Portland, Oregon, to combat food insecurity exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m a believer in local communities supporting local communities,” Baron says. So he volunteered to deliver meals for the kitchen. As he did so, he started having conversations with folks in the organization and learning more about the scope of the problem they were trying to address. Baron says he was already a skeptic of capitalism and the failing social systems, but that he was floored by just how systemic food insecurity was in “wonderful, liberal Portland.” And he was equally moved by the work that Crisis Kitchen was doing to respond to it with an alternative economy of care.