farm worker

Strategic Plan

Food is a powerful connector.

At Oregon Food Bank, we believe that no one should be hungry. So our challenge is obvious: how to move from today, when hundreds of thousands of our neighbors in Oregon and Clark County, Washington need food assistance, to a tomorrow in which no one faces hunger. It was this challenge that led Oregon Food Bank to our most ambitious strategic planning process yet. Launched in April 2013, the strategic planning process gathered opinions, ideas, hopes and dreams from people across Oregon – from our partners in the Oregon Food Bank Network to our donors to the people we serve.

Together we determined that the ultimate solution lies in the power of food. Food has the power to heal us, to connect us, to make us stronger. Food solves hunger today, by filling plates with nutritious meals. Our communities can also rally around the power of food to solve hunger tomorrow. 

This plan was a result of a community working together. We invite you to be part of that community. Use your personal power to help us feed people today – and build a hunger-free tomorrow.


Who We Are.
A summary of the underlying beliefs and principles held by Oregon Food Bank. They are the heart of the organization and link volunteers, employees, board members, and partners together. More...


Strategic Direction.
This is our vision for the future. It outlines the ultimate results we plan to achieve. More...


Strategic Initiatives.
We can’t just dream; we need a plan. The strategic initiatives are our plan to start achieving the outcomes in the strategic direction. We are careful to note that these activities will adapt to a changing environment and new opportunities. More...


Who We Are


In all things, we:

  • Care deeply about people experiencing hunger and hold them in the center of all we do.
  • Cultivate curiosity and hope.
  • Strive for excellence, not perfection.
  • Practice transparency, generosity, and inclusion.
  • Listen, learn, collaborate and celebrate with our partners and colleagues.


OFB is guided by the following beliefs:

  • We believe no one should be hungry.
  • We believe that, together, we can solve hunger.
  • We believe hunger starves the human spirit.
  • We believe communities thrive when people are nourished.
  • We believe everyone deserves healthy, fresh food.
  • We believe food solves hunger today and community solves hunger tomorrow.
  • We believe that a strong regional food bank network and effective partner agencies are essential to ending hunger.
  • We believe in the abundance of resources.
  • We believe that people seek food assistance when they need it and give back when they can.


Eliminate Hunger Today

  • No one misses a meal due to lack of resources
  • Everyone has access to an adequate supply of nutritious food
  • People seeking food assistance in Oregon can find it
  • Reduce wasted food

Engage Communities

  • Increasing awareness of food and hunger issues
  • Build more engaged citizens and community leaders
  • Change public policy

Break the Cycle of Hunger

  • All children grow up unimpaired by food insecurity
  • Remove barriers and support skill-building for people to break out of poverty
  • Enable people in poverty to act and advocate for themselves
  • Promote living wage jobs

Reconnect Food and Health

  • Promote good nutrition
  • Contribute to community wellness
  • Impact lifelong eating habits in childhood

Catalyze Robust Food Systems

  • Support local food production and distribution
  • Sustain our agricultural community
  • Enable communities to implement self-sustaining solutions


We do our work best through:

Amplifying the Voices of those experiencing hunger

  • Sharing family stories of hunger
  • Emphasizing the dignity of people experiencing hunger
  • Creating opportunities for active participation in solutions

Purposeful Collaborations

  • Cultivating a coordinated, interdependent statewide Network
  • Maximizing community leadership
  • Actively seeking and engaging new partners

Meaningful Dialogue and Relationships

  • Valuing interaction and the making of connections
  • Exchanging and leveraging emerging ideas
  • Engaging people through personal experiences and personal touch


  • Taking on challenges
  • Destroying complacency
  • Seeking evolution, innovation and transformation


  • Connecting emotionally to our mission
  • Bringing a light heart to serious work
  • Celebrating successes


Strategic Direction 


We believe that no one should be hungry. The solutions lie in the power of food. Food is universal as a daily need, as a celebration of culture and family, as medicine, as a connection to the natural world; food links us together, human to human. Food solves hunger today, by filling plates with nutritious meals. The power of food can also be harnessed to energize communities to solve hunger tomorrow. At Oregon Food Bank, we are dedicated to eliminating hunger and its root causes. We will concentrate on the power that healthy food can have by shifting our focus from pounds to people – the people facing hunger and their caring neighbors. We will put the power of food to work on health, on communities and on the strength and impact of the anti-hunger system


We believe everyone deserves healthy, fresh food. We are working towards a world in which:

  • Healthy: people facing hunger create their own solutions through knowledge - gaining skills such as shopping, cooking, budgeting, gardening and nutrition – and community connections.
  • Fresh: people facing hunger can acquire fresh produce through food assistance channels.
  • Everyone: food assistance is accessible to everyone facing hunger, regardless of cultural, geographic and other differences.
  • Children Especially: Children facing hunger have their nutritional needs met every day. Health care providers are able to diagnose hunger and prescribe food and nutrition assistance.


We believe that hunger starves the human spirit. We believe that communities thrive when people are nourished. We are working towards a world in which:

  • Spirit: people experiencing hunger have their voices and stories heard, as the best messengers about the dignity of the human spirit and the truth and effects of hunger.
  • Nourish: citizens rise up by the thousands to build thriving communities where everyone is nourished – and demonstrate their commitment through supporting food assistance programs and advocating for policies and systems that decrease hunger.
  • Community: local communities gather to make local decisions and take local action to improve access to healthy food in Oregon and across the U.S.


We believe that, together, we can solve hunger. We believe that strong regional food bank networks and effective partner agencies are essential to ending hunger. We are working towards a world in which:

  • Together: experts and activists working on poverty, economic development, healthy agricultural sectors, and other key influences on a hunger-free tomorrow convene regularly, share information, and generate solutions together.
  • Strength in Knowledge: the understanding of hunger and the programs that fight it expands, deepens, and feeds effective long term solutions.
  • Network Strength: communities and food programs throughout the state have the right programs and equipment to provide sufficient healthy food today.


Strategic Activities


Oregon Food Bank has identified the strategic initiatives below that will drive us to the outcomes identified in our strategic direction. While we pursue these initiatives, we will also remain adaptive to a changing environment and new opportunities. Also included below is one target that illustrates the scope, and would demonstrate success, of the initiative.


Produce. Focus our efforts on collecting and distributing fresh produce as a key building block of health.
TARGET: Increase total amount of produce distributed from 10 million pounds to 15 million pounds in 5 years.

Statewide Education. Expand successful Cooking Matters™ and Seed 2 Supper classes throughout Oregon.
TARGET: Education programming offered in 75% of Oregon Food Bank service counties by year 5.

School Pantries. Provide healthy food today to families with children through school-based food pantries.
TARGET: Quadruple the number of school pantries to 40 and increase the number of families utilizing school pantries by 300% in 5 years.

Health Care Partnership. Engage pediatricians and other health care providers to screen families for food insecurity and provide intervention and referrals.
TARGET: 30 pediatricians and health care providersare engaged and 1600 hard-to-reach families (4000 individuals) are referred to food assistance in 5 years.

Healthy Pantry Initiative. Partner with the OSU Extension Service to update pantry layout, messaging, demonstrations, and nutrition education to encourage healthy food choices.
TARGET: 40% of Oregon Food Bank Branch food pantries have adopted healthy pantry techniques in 5 years.


Grassroots Advocacy. We will build a grassroots movement to end hunger through community engagement and organizing.
TARGET: 25 successful public policy and budget initiatives that work to eliminate hunger or its root causes in 5 years.

VOICES. Amplify the voices of people experiencing hunger by collecting and sharing their stories and by encouraging people facing hunger to advocate publicly for anti-hunger policies.
TARGET: 100 people annually share their stories through the VOICES project and at least 5 become advocates.

Community Food Systems. Expand capacity to organize community food systems.
TARGET: Engage at least 20 communities in policy/process changes affecting local food systems in 5 years.

National Leadership in Community Food Systems. Support a national network of community food system practitioners.
TARGET: Conduct an inventory of national CFS work and host a best-practices, lessons learned national conference in 2015.

Collaborating for Clients. Build conversations and partnerships toward long term solutions to hunger, focusing on organizations working on housing, employment and health care.
TARGET: Launch a collaborative impact project with shared, specific outcomes in 4 years.


Capacity Building. Support the Oregon Food Bank Network and partner agencies in building resilient, client-focused, healthy programs.
TARGET: Increase the number of communities with a variety of food assistance access points by 20% in 5 years and decrease underserved communities by 40% in 5 years.

Who Is Hungry. Implement technology for all partner agencies to utilize the same client information system to provide the anti-hunger system with quality, real-time data about who is facing hunger.
TARGET: 80% of Oregon Food Bank Branch partner agencies serving more than 100 families a month implement uniform technology in 5 years.

Organizational Excellence. Create a world-class work culture that embraces diversity and drives excellent mission results. Ensure organizational capacity such as facilities, administrative support and technology, grow and adapt to organization changes.
TARGET: Rank as one of Oregon’s Top Ten Nonprofits to Work For by 2018.

Resource Growth: Transform Oregon Food Bank’s fundraising infrastructure to support ambitious strategic initiatives.
TARGET: Raise an additional $3 million annually by year 5.



We have a short ‘wish list’ of projects that we would also like to tackle when resources (staff time, funding, partnerships) become available. These include:

Impact Measurement. Partner with Oregon State University and Feeding America to develop broad impact measurement for food banking.

Mobile Food Pantries. Invest in additional healthy, mobile, direct-to-community food pantries to fill gaps in the food pantry system.

Summer Food Service Program. Collaborate with Partners for a Hunger Free Oregon and the state to expand the Summer Food Service Program.

Honored Citizens Especially. Support innovative programming to better meet the expanding need for nutrition assistance for our older neighbors.



At Oregon Food Bank we believe in a healthy balance between planning and flexibility. Clearly we cannot tackle all the initiatives at once. We also need the ability to adapt to a changing environment and new opportunities. The initiatives are sorted loosely into phases of two years each as demonstrated in the chart below.

Download our Strategic Plan publication (PDF)