Oregon Food Bank has been fighting hunger in Oregon and Clark County, Wash., for more than 30 years. Here are just a few of our recent accomplishments.
Emergency food distribution
Last year, Oregon Food Bank distributed a 43.5-million pounds of food to hunger-relief agencies.
Last year, at OFB’s two Portland-area locations, volunteer hours were equal to 74 full time employees, valued at $2.4 million.
Our public policy work to incentivize local food sourcing led to state legislation that brought together commercial fisheries, local food processors and the OFB Network to get nutritious, protein-rich food to Oregonians through unintentionally caught fish, known as bycatch. OFB advocates also successfully protected the Oregon Hunger Response Fund from cuts, and preserved important increases in funding to invest in emergency food and the capacity to move it to hungry people throughout the state. And, our continued work to fight childhood hunger was supported with grant funding from ConAgra, which allowed OFB’s Childhood Hunger Coalition to address hunger in a clinical setting, in partnership with Oregon Health and Sciences University.
Nutrition and Garden Education
In FY 2011-12, our education programs expanded our reach across the state and partner agency network as we worked to build self-reliance and health in community members at risk for food insecurity. In addition to 48 six-week Cooking Matters™ courses in our Metro and Washington County branches, five satellite partners serving six counties coordinated 20 courses from Astoria to Ontario -- up from only six courses the year prior. And, a new training program increased our volunteers’ impact on the lives of class participants and improved their personal knowledge of food insecurity and hunger issues.
A newly constructed Eastside Learning Garden greenhouse – designed and constructed with support from Sera Architects and Oregon Tradeswoman, Inc. -- brought educational opportunities to class participants, volunteers and partner agencies, and yielded more than 3,500 plant starts for distribution to Metro-area agencies and education program participants.
Community Food Systems
OFB’s FEAST (Food, Education, Action, Solutions Together) events planted the seeds for dozens of new ideas and programs that brought rural areas together to identify priorities and assets in their communities. In FY 2011-12, 19 FEAST events were held in Washington, Oregon and Idaho with more than 700 participants working together to build healthier, more equitable food systems.
To address the demand for even more FEAST events, OFB piloted a “train the trainer” program with curriculum and materials designed to extend the program to rural communities around the country.
Last year, OFB's Network Support Fund provided $500,000, in grants and equipment to support the statewide regional food bank network.