UPDATE: City Council approves $20,000 for repairs

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP/DAVID F. ASHTON - People from all over Southeast Portland came to the opening of the Portland Mercado  in May 2015.The City Council approved a $20,000 emergency grant to Portland Mercado after most of its food carts were vandalized and broken into on Sunday.

According to the website operated by the community-oriented food and retail complex at 7238 S.E. Foster Rd., eight of the 10 carts were damaged, and six are unable to operate because equipment, cash and other items were stolen from them.

Total damage is estimated at $25,000, not counting the loss of sales since Monday.

The council approved the grant Wednesday morning as part of its annual fall budget adjustment process. A last-minute amendment was submitted by Commissioner Nick Fish, we said the vandal or vandals had harmed immigrants and other low-income people residents to earn a living.

"This modest investment is a way to say shame on the people who did that," Fish said.

Mayor Charlies agreed, saying, "We should step up and help make sure it stays open."

News of the vandalism was broken early Monday on the Project Mercado website.

"Our Mercado community is committed to stay afloat to support our families and provide food and a welcoming, inclusive space for all during the winter," the website says. "While we are frustrated at this time, we are not giving up and we are confident that this will only make us stronger and more resilient."

In response, Portland Mercado has set up an online donation system and is accepting contributions at the businesses that are still in operation. For more infomation, visit

"We want to make sure that this does not defeat a small business' chance to survive through the winter. Now more than ever your patronage matters," the website says.

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