food pantry

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I am eligible to get food?

Are you in need? Then you are eligible to get food. Some agencies have service area boundaries and many sites use income guidelines established by USDA. These are just guidelines. Special circumstances, for example, medical bills or a recent job loss, can be taken into account.

2014 USDA Income Guidelines
Household size Monthly income Annual income
1 $1,799 $21,590
2 $2,425 $28,101
3 $3,051 $36,612
4 $3,677 $44,123
5 $4,303 $51,634
6 $4,929 $59,145
7 $5,555 $66,656
8 $6,181 $74,167
Each additional person over 8: $626 $7,511

Community Basket and Harvest Share
programs use different guidelines, listed below. These are also the guidelines that OFB uses for its education programs, including Learning Gardens and Nutrition Education.

2014 Community Basket/Harvest Share Guidelines
Household size Monthly income Annual income
1 $1,945 $23,340
2 $2,622 $31,460
3 $3,298 $39,580
4 $3,975 $47,700
5 $4,652 $55,820
6 $5,328 $63,940
7 $6.005 $72,060
8 $6,682 $80,180
Each additional person over 8: $677 $8,120

The sites we partner with are independent nonprofits. It's always best to call before visiting to make sure that you qualify for services at that particular site.

If you feel you have been denied service for an inappropriate reason, please call 503-282-0555 and ask to speak to Metro Services (if the agency you visited was in the Portland area), Washington County Services (if the agency was in Washington County) or Statewide Services (if the agency was located elsewhere).

Are there income guidelines?

Many sites use USDA income guidelines. For sites that use these guidelines, proof of income is not required. You will be asked to state that your income is below the guideline level and sign a form. If your family receives SNAP (food stamps), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) benefits, you are eligible to be served by sites that use USDA income guidelines.

2013 USDA Income Guidelines
Household size   Monthly income    Annual income 
1  $1,771  $21,257
2  $2,391  $28,694
3  $3,011  $36,131
4  $3,631  $43,586
5  $4,250  $51,005
6  $4,870  $58,442
7  $5,490  $65,879
8  $6,110  $73,316
Each additional person over 8:  $620  $7,437

Community Basket and Harvest Share
programs use different guidelines, listed below. These are also the guidelines that OFB uses for its education programs, including Learning Gardens and Nutrition Education.

2013 Community Basket/Harvest Share Guidelines    
Household size Monthly income Annual income
 1 $1,915 $22,980
 2 $2,585 $31,020
 3 $3,255 $39,060
 4 $3,925 $47,100 
 5 $4,595 $55,140 
 6 $5,265 $63,180
 7 $5,935 $71,220
 8 $6,605 $79,260
Each additional person over 8: $670 $8,040


The sites we partner with are independent nonprofits. It's always best to call before visiting to make sure that you qualify for services at that particular site.

What if I am unable to leave my home to get food?
Some food box agencies are able to make deliveries under certain circumstances. If you are unable to leave your home to get food, use our Get Help search tool to find out which agencies are close to your home. Then call them to find out if they can help you make special arrangements to have food delivered. Many St. Vincent de Paul programs in the Portland area offer home deliveries. You can reach them at their main referral line by calling 503-235-8431.
How often can I receive food?

Different sites have different rules. Most meal sites allow you to come whenever they are open with no restrictions. In general, food box sites limit your visits to once or twice a month. This is based on the food resources the program has and the number of families it serves.

What do I need to bring?

What you need to bring will depend on which site you plan to visit. Typically, meal sites don't require you to bring anything. Many food box sites ask you to bring something with your name and address on it, like a piece of ID, a utility bill or other official mail. Exceptions can often be made in special circumstances (e.g. not having a fixed address). No site should ask you to provide proof of income or a social security number in order to receive food. Again, it's always best to call in advance so that you can bring the right things when you visit the site and not waste a trip.

Do I need to make special arrangements if I do not speak English?

No. All sites are required to provide you with food regardless of your language, ethnic background, citizenship status or national origin. It can be helpful to bring something with your name and address printed on it, because many sites will ask you for that information.

What should I do if I was refused food by an agency?

Please call us! We hold our partner agencies to high standards and always want to hear about ways we can improve our services. We will also be able to refer you to a different site where you will be able to receive food. Call 503-282-0555 and ask to speak to Metro Services (for questions about Clackamas, Clark and Multnomah counties), Washington County Services (for questions about Washington County), or Statewide Services (for questions about service in other areas of the state).

It is especially important that you call us if you feel you have been refused service because of your race, sex, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, military status, age, disability, ethnicity, color, creed, political or religious affiliation, sexual orientation including gender identity, familial or marital status, veteran status or unfavorable discharge from the military. Oregon Food Bank is an equal opportunity provider and our agency policies prohibit discrimination.

 

Oregon Food Bank

503-282-0555
7900 N.E. 33rd Drive
Portland, OR 97211

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 55370
Portland, OR 97238-5370