Portland, Oregon – June 25, 2014 – Many families in need of food assistance will have better access thanks to a recent decision by the Portland Children’s Levy (PCL) Allocation Committee. The committee voted to fund Oregon Food Bank’s School Pantry Program activities within the city of Portland in the amount of $1.282 million over three years. The committee’s decision was supported unanimously by the Portland City Council today, which votes on PCL funding recommendations. Seven school pantries are located in the city of Portland, with plans for 11 more within the next three years.
“The School Pantry Program is the best way to reach families who need food assistance. Schools are a familiar and convenient location,” says Susannah Morgan, CEO of Oregon Food Bank. “If children are to learn and grow and be able to break the cycle of poverty, they must have access to a nutritious food supply.” Receiving assistance through a school-based pantry can be a natural entry point for families to receive other services and can encourage more school involvement.
The School Pantry Program serves low-income families with children who attend schools that have at least 65% free and reduced lunch rates. Oregon Food Bank partners with SUN (Schools Uniting Neighborhoods) Community Schools and other nonprofit organizations to provide a free weekly or bi-monthly distribution of fresh and healthy foods including produce, eggs, meat, canned items and staples such as rice and pasta.
Oregon Food Bank’s program consists of 14 school pantries in Multnomah, Washington and Tillamook counties with plans to add 41 more, including some in Clackamas, Harney and Malheur counties, by 2017.
Funding from the Portland Children’s Levy builds on leadership support of this key Oregon Food Bank program from Zidell Companies, Whole Foods Market, Ford Motor Company Foundation, Spirit Mountain Community Fund, and the Maybelle Clark MacDonald Fund.
“With the allocation from the Portland Children’s Levy, our School Pantry Program is fully funded for the next fiscal year,” said Laura Golino de Lovato, Director of Development, Marketing and Communication for Oregon Food Bank. “We hope to achieve the same level of success with our many other programs that fight hunger and its root causes.”
About Oregon Food Bank
With sufficient public will and support of the entire community, we believe it is possible to eliminate hunger and its root causes. Oregon Food Bank collects and distributes food through a network of four Oregon Food Bank branches and 17 independent regional food banks serving Oregon and Clark County, Washington. The Oregon Food Bank Network helps nearly 1 in 5 households fend off hunger. Oregon Food Bank also leads statewide efforts to increase resources for hungry families and to eliminate the root causes of hunger through advocacy, nutrition education, garden education, and helping communities strengthen local food systems. For more information visit oregonfoodbank.org
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