Hunger Fact #1Prior to the pandemic, 1 in 11 Oregonians were food insecure, not knowing where our next meal might come from. Today, 1 in 5 people face hunger in rural, urban and suburban communities throughout the state — a dramatic increase driven by the ongoing economic fallout of COVID-19 and the rising cost of food and housing.
Hunger Fact #2The Oregon Food Bank Network is made up of 21 regional food banks partnering with more than 1,400 free food markets, pantries, meal sites and delivery programs. The Network sources and distributes over 78 million meals worth of food (93 million pounds) each year — with an emphasis on fresh produce, dairy, protein and pantry staples. Many locations are shopping-style markets that allow families to select food that matches cultural and dietary needs.
Hunger Fact #3The rising cost of food and housing is worsening food insecurity here in Oregon and across the country. We expect over a million people to seek emergency food assistance through the Oregon Food Bank Network this year — significantly more people than we saw pre-pandemic.
Hunger Fact #4Food insecurity disproportionately affects specific communities in Oregon, regardless of geography. Historic inequities and systemic exclusions mean that Black, Indigenous and Communities of Color, immigrants and refugees, single moms and caregivers, and trans and gender-diverse communities are two to three times more likely to face hunger and poverty in our region. By addressing these disparities we can ensure everyone in our state has access to the essential resources we need to thrive.
Hunger Fact #5The Oregon Food Bank Network advocates for policies and investments that address the root causes of food insecurity and prevent hunger from happening. Thousands of community members regularly make our voices heard — and our advocacy makes a difference: in the past year, we’ve secured $87 million for our emergency food assistance network and direct support through the Oregon Worker Relief Fund to families facing hunger!
Hunger Fact #6Food banks are able to stretch a dollar much further than any of us can as individual consumers. The Oregon Food Bank Network partners directly with local farmers, ranchers, manufacturers and grocers to source and distribute food by the truckload. For every $10 donated, our Network can support the community with as many as 30 meals — and support our local economy in the process.
Hunger Fact #7Emergencies like wildfires and ice storms force thousands of our neighbors to leave their homes, shelter in place, or lose access to safe food or water each year, and the impacts are often felt long after. As part of state disaster response efforts, the Oregon Food Bank Network provides water, food and other critical supplies during times of crisis
Hunger Fact #8Despite our scale, food banks are by no means immune to rising food and fuel prices. Many food banks are moving twice as many truckloads of food today compared to pre-pandemic — at a time when nearly every aspect of food sourcing and distribution operations face cost spikes of 10% to 30%. So the need for continued support is vital!
Hunger Fact #9Because the Oregon Food Bank Network distributes food to over 1,400 emergency food assistance programs throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, donations stay local to help end hunger and its root causes in the communities we serve, together!
Hunger Fact #10Poverty is the single biggest driver of hunger. When people earn a living wage, have access to affordable housing, healthcare and education, and no longer face the barriers of systemic discrimination, we’re all better equipped to buy healthy and nutritious food. Together, we can ensure that food remains available to all who need it today — and make the kind of changes that are needed to end hunger for good!
Across the Oregon Food Bank Network, we see the economic impact of the pandemic and rising food and fuel costs each and every day. If you or someone you know needs food assistance, know that help is available and that all are welcome — no matter no matter where we were born, how we identify or the color of our skin. Visit OregonFoodFinder.org to find free food markets, pantries, meal sites in your community!