by Susannah Morgan, CEO
I don’t need to tell you that the impact of this pandemic is very real.
Since March, more than 12,000 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 — and hundreds have died. One in five Oregon workers has lost their jobs in the pandemic’s wake. More than 300,000 people have applied for unemployment — numbers we haven’t seen since the Great Depression.
Both the health and economic fallout have hit some communities disproportionately hard — especially people of color, immigrants and refugees, the LGBTQ community, and single parents and caregivers.
It’s no surprise that we’ve seen a dramatic, sustained increase in demand for food assistance as a result — upwards of 70% on average, but an exponential rise in many parts of Oregon and Southwest Washington. And yet, we see communities large and small coming together in new and amazing ways to meet this crisis head-on.
This week, we’re highlighting several of the inspiring efforts that are helping to address hunger and its root causes at the local and state level.
- We’re sharing the work of community-led organizations like Mudbone Grown — which was founded to inspire the next generation of farmers fighting for food and racial justice for Black families.
- We’re sharing the stories of community leaders like Naw Bee, who are engaging hundreds of neighbors in the census work that is so critical to ensuring our communities have the resources we need to thrive.
- And we’re sharing several community-centered programs and resources that are helping to ensure that food and other essentials remain available throughout the region.
Amplifying community voices and growing grassroots power are core parts of our mission to end hunger and its root causes. And its especially important now, as we look to one another for support, that we see the incredible collective power that is being built within our communities
It’s the beginnings of a movement that’s capable not only of feeding people today — but of ending hunger for good.
Thank you for all you do to help us #EmergeStronger together.