Senate Bill 610 extends food assistance to 62,000 Oregonians facing hunger due to immigration status
Salem, OR — More than 75 community organizations joined together to endorse new “Food for all Oregonians" legislation, introduced as Oregon Senate Bill 610. The measure will extend food assistance to more than 62,000 Oregonians facing hunger who are currently excluded on the basis of immigration status. Sponsored by Senators WInsvey Campos and James Manning, the bill is backed by a growing coalition of leading anti-hunger and community-based organizations advocating for equal access to food statewide.
“Food is a human right, no matter where we were born,” said Fatima Jawaid Marty, Campaign Manager with Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon. “Yet over 62,000 Oregonians are excluded from food assistance and other vital programs today, exacerbating hunger across rural, urban and suburban communities alike. Conversations across Oregon make it clear that we need an equitable food assistance system that works for all of us.”
Senate Bill 610 makes food assistance available to Oregonians who would otherwise qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) but are currently excluded due to immigration status. The state-run food assistance program will mirror federal SNAP benefits and extend to Lawful Permanent Residents, U.S. Compacts of Free Association (COFA) citizens, and other Oregonians who arrived as immigrants or refugees. The legislation also funds community navigation, improved language access and other services to help connect families to essential food resources.
“Food for All brings our communities much closer to a future where immigration status no longer drives hunger and poverty,” said Aldo Solano Mendez, Strategic Partnership Manager with Oregon Food Bank. “Our freedom, our health, our ability to thrive all depend on access to food that is nutritious and culturally familiar. And this legislation will help to ensure everyone in Oregon has access to the food we need to thrive, no matter where we’re from. ”
“We know that food is medicine; it is the most important element alongside water,” says Petrona Dominquez Francisco, Leadership & Advocacy Program Coordinator at Adelante Mujeres. “Addressing food insecurity and food accessibility will have a ripple effect on other social and economic challenges that we see in our communities. That is why I am asking and encouraging everyone to support this effort.”
ABOUT FOOD FOR ALL OREGONIANS
Food For All Oregonians (FFAO) is a statewide campaign to ensure that every Oregonian has access to the food we need to thrive, regardless of where we were born. The campaign is co-convened by Oregon Food Bank and Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon. Leadership is provided by a steering committee of seven organizations representing the affected communities and a coalition of more than 60 community-based organizations. Learn more about the campaign and legislation at FoodForAllOR.org.