PORTLAND, OR — As the hunger crisis continues to loom over our region in the wake of new COVID-19 variants, Oregon Food Bank delivered its annual ‘State of Hunger’ address on National Hunger Action Day, September 17. Now available for download, the event recording offers an update on the pandemic’s ongoing impact, highlights the challenges ahead, and reinforces the critical action needed to emerge stronger from this crisis and end hunger for good.
Hunger was a crisis before the pandemic, and COVID-19 has only worsened existing disparities and inequities in communities throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington. Nearly 1.7 million people accessed emergency food assistance through the Oregon Food Bank Network over the past year — double pre-pandemic numbers. New figures from Feeding America underscore the need for continued action to combat hunger nationwide: at least 60 million Americans turned to food banks, free food pantries and other nonprofit food assistance programs for support throughout 2020.
“More than 300,000 Oregonians have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Thousands have lost loved ones. And the economic disruption has led to hunger, with nearly 1 in 5 of us facing food insecurity in the pandemic’s wake,” said Susannah Morgan, Oregon Food Bank CEO. “When it comes to hunger in our communities, we’re nowhere near out of the woods — and the need for anti-hunger action has never been greater.”
September is Hunger Action Month — a time each year when people across the country join together to volunteer, donate and make their voices heard in the fight to end hunger and its root causes. Learn more about the challenges ahead and actions we can all take to ensure our communities emerge stronger from this crisis at oregonfoodbank.org/hungeractionmonth.