At Oregon Food Bank, our mission is to eliminate hunger and its root causes — because no one should be hungry. We know that we cannot achieve this vital mission through food assistance alone; we must address the policies and systems that drive hunger and poverty in our communities.
The layered crises of the past few years have reinforced exactly what works in the fight to end hunger: significant, direct support for families — and a meaningful focus at all levels on the policies and investments our communities need to thrive. And as many of the supports tied to the state of emergency begin to sunset in the coming weeks, it’s incredibly important that our elected leaders maintain their focus on action to prevent hunger from worsening.
Many candidates are sharing their vision for the future right now, as ballots arrive in mailboxes throughout the state. So with guidance from our statewide statewide Policy Leadership Council, we asked everyone running in the May 17 primary for governor where they stand on critical anti-hunger policies and investments. Fourteen candidates responded — and we’ve published all their answers here on our website (participating independent candidates will be listed in the general election).
Governors play a vital role in anti-hunger efforts like the Oregon Worker Relief Fund, expanded access to school meals and stable homes. Governors also manage state investments in programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (sometimes called ‘SNAP’ or ‘food stamps’) and the emergency food purchases that support our network of 1,400+ pantries, free food markets and meal sites. So we know the priorities of our next governor will have a huge impact on our fight to end hunger and its root causes, for years to come.
No matter where we live — in rural, urban or suburban Oregon — it’s fair to say that hunger is on the ballot this spring and fall. We want everyone who has experienced food insecurity — and everyone who cares about ending hunger — to know where the people who want to lead our state stand on anti-hunger policies. We hope this will be a helpful, non-partisan resource — one that offers leaders’ perspectives in their own words.
Each of us can add our voices, time, energy and power to ensure no one in our communities goes hungry again. Thank you for all you do to help end hunger for good!