At Oregon Food Bank, we believe no one should be hungry. We view success through a different lens. From our warehouses and offices to our gardens and partner agencies, we want to see people grow and be inspired. It’s more than just putting meals on a plate. It’s about lifting barriers and increasing options; it’s helping people see that there is hope.
Research has shown that a person with cooking skills will eat healthier. In Southeast Oregon’s Malheur County, the food insecurity rate hovers at almost 15%. Oregon Food Bank–Southeast Oregon Services works with many community agencies to teach people basic cooking skills. The goal is to help them make wise choices on limited budgets, which can in turn give them hope that tomorrow will be better.
Recognizing an opportunity to serve its aging population, Oregon Food Bank–Tillamook County Services partnered with local social service agencies to provide regular, convenient food assistance to more than 2,000 seniors. Since the program began, 20,546 meals have been provided to many who would have gone without.
It is difficult for many people to hear DeLinda’s story. Stuck in an abusive relationship and living in a rural community, she never had enough to eat. When DeLinda broke free, she had little to her name and turned to her local pantry for help.
Pantries and food banks in communities across Oregon exist in part because of the Oregon Hunger Response Fund. By the end of this year’s legislative session, lawmakers voted to allocate $3.2 million for the 2015-17 biennium. Success can be attributed to tireless advocacy by Oregon Food Bank staff, regional food banks, and individuals like Delinda who share their story.
Anti-hunger advocates turned out in force for Oregon Hunger Response Day in April. From Astoria to Ontario and from Medford to Beaverton, a record 220 people shared their stories of hunger and hope
with state lawmakers in Salem.
Oregon growers are generous; they want to support their community. In a region of agricultural abundance, millions of pounds of high quality produce, often misshapen or off-sized, are offered to people facing hunger thanks to Northwest Farm Credit Services. Last year, the company contributed $50,000 to purchase 360 field bins. Oregon Food Bank delivers the bins to growers who fill them with regionally-grown produce such as onions, potatoes, apples, pears and watermelons. The field bins allow Oregon Food Bank to move more fresh produce to people. Growers are able to influence the well-being of their community and receive a crop donation tax credit.