The Pandemic has Tested Our Vision of Community Resilience FROM OUR CEO Wow, have we been tested this year. And WOW! have we risen to that challenge. READ MORE A year ago, hunger in Oregon and SW Washington was decreasing. And now – due to the ongoing pandemic and recent wildfires, associated economic disruption and insufficient public safety nets – hunger is at its highest level in almost a century. I’ll say that again: we are currently experiencing rates of hunger that equal those of the Great Depression in the 1930s. COVID-19 Escalates Food Insecurity Throughout the Oregon Food Bank Network, we’ve witnessed rising need in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic impact. Before the pandemic, approximately 860,000 community members relied on the OFB Network for food assistance in a year. Oregon State University estimates that the total number of Oregonians experiencing – or are likely to soon experience – food insecurity has doubled. This means as many as 1 in 4 Oregonians or an additional 540,000-800,000 of our neighbors are turning to local food pantries, many for the first time. READ MORE COVID-19 Puts Systemic Inequities on Full Display “The pandemic has shown us all how closely our health and well-being is tied to one another. Yet the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 among Black, Indigenous and other people of color cannot be denied. Even before the pandemic, food insecurity among Black and Indigenous households was more than double the rate of white households in Oregon. Latinx families were three times as likely to face hunger than other families. READ MORE Emerging Stronger Together When any member of our community is at risk, we’re all at risk – our health and well-being is tied to each and every one of our friends, colleagues and neighbors. READ MORE Our network of 21 regional food banks and over 1,400 hunger relief programs is working together across Oregon and Southwest Washington to meet the evolving needs of our communities. This regional service delivery model brings together network partners to collaborate around community engagement, to share resources, and to advocate for a food system that effectively and equitably meets the needs of our neighborhoods. Building A Movement At its core, a movement is made of people who are connected by a common commitment to create better communities – including addressing issues that divide us. Earlier this year, we facilitated conversations while volunteers repacked food for distribution by discussing food insecurity, the root causes of hunger – including racism, xenophobia, transphobia and more – and what we can do to end hunger. We hosted online community conversations to foster dialogue that can lead to community change. “This was the first time we’ve ever had a community conversation about racial equity and it felt good,” said one participant in a multiracial virtual town hall in La Grande. At another event with Multnomah County Commissioners, we discussed challenges and solutions from the perspective of communities of color. READ MORE Connecting Community How You Can Get Involved Our vision for resilient communities that never know hunger is only possible through the strength of our community partnerships. Join us in the fight to end hunger for good! READ MORE
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