Sharon Thornberry

Sharon Thornberry Sharon is Oregon Food Bank’s community food systems manager. She recently contributed a chapter to the book version of A Place at the Table.

Sharon has been a grassroots organizer, trainer and advocate for community food systems, rural communities, and anti-hunger work in Oregon since 1986, working at OFB in various capacities since 1998.

She grew up on farms in Iowa and North Carolina and was very active in 4-H and Girl Scouts.  Prior to food banking, her work experience includes food service, retail grocery, and union activities. 

In 1979, she experienced homelessness as a single mother of two small children.

She has volunteered for, and chaired the board for a local food pantry and has been active with United Methodist Church anti – hunger efforts.

Sharon was a member of the Oregon Hunger Task Force for 16 years.  She served on the board of the Community Food Security Coalition for six years, three years as President.  She currently serves on the board of Bread for the World and Bread for the World Institute. 

She was the 2009 recipient of the Billi Odegard Public Health Genius Award from the Community Health Partnership of Oregon.  Much of her work in the past seven years has been focused on the most rural areas of Oregon. She initiated both the RARE AmeriCorps partnership and the FEAST community organizing program, and has spearheaded the growth of Community Food Systems work at Oregon Food Bank and served as a leader for the CFS movement locally and nationally. 

Sharon has lived in Philomath, Oregon for over 25 years.  She is an avid gardener and working to permaculture her small lot making it a sustainable model for her seven grandchildren.  She loves to share the cooking traditions learned in the farm kitchens of her youth with friends and family.