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New Projections Reveal Worsening Food Insecurity in Pandemic’s Wake

Our national partners at Feeding America regularly revise hunger projections for states and localities across the country, most recently with a new set of figures in late October. First released in May during the early stages of the pandemic, the revised .  While unemployment and poverty rates in the second half of 2020 came in slightly better than expected across the Pacific Northwest, new projections reveal that are food insecurity remains drastically higher than pre-pandemic levels.
In May, Oregon State University projecting near-doubling of food insecurity as a result of the pandemic — indicating that as many as 1 in 5 Oregonians could face hunger. While the latest data paints a slightly more positive outlook, food insecurity rose by more than 35% — bringing food insecurity to the doorsteps of more than 720,000 of our neighbors across Oregon and Southwest Washington. to 1 in 6 Oregonians
Overall FI Rate Overall FI Rate
Revised 2020 Projection 2018 Baseline FI % change FI population # change
Oregon 16.10% 11.90% 35% 675,250 176,520
OFB Service Area (w/ Clark Co.) 15.80% 11.70% 36% 720,500 190,450
Feeding America’s projections are localized down to the county level. Oregon’s most rural counties saw the most dramatic adjustment with these revisions. This is understandable given that even slight adjustments can cause big swings in the unemployment or poverty rates of these communities given their small populations. If you would like to take a deep dive I’ve  attached the workbook with the estimates for the OFB Service Area (county, congressional district, service area, and state), and the supporting materials from Feeding America.
Top Counties by FI Rate (%)
Overall Food Insecurity Rate (2020 Projection)
Lincoln 20.90%
Coos 20.40%
Klamath 20.20%
Grant 19.60%
Curry 19.40%
Top Counties By Number of Foodinsecure Individuals
Multnomah County, Oregon 133,230
Washington County, Oregon 73,770
Clark County, Washington 67,980
Lane County, Oregon 66,750
Clackamas County, Oregon 53,130
Marion County, Oregon 52,590

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