VIDEO/AUDIO AVAILABLE: Oregon State of Hunger Address Underscores Ongoing Hunger Crisis, Introduces Food Justice Approach
PORTLAND, OR — As the hunger crisis continues to loom over our region in the wake of rising food costs, ongoing market disruptions and sunsetting pandemic-era support, Oregon Food Bank President Susannah Morgan delivered the region’s annual State of Hunger Address on National Hunger Day — Friday, September 15, 2023. In a video now available for download, the remarks offer on-the-ground insight into the increased need for food assistance. Alongside Oregon Food Bank President Susannah Morgan, Oregon Food Bank staff shared celebratory milestones such as passing the Oregon Kids’ Credit and advancing School Meals for All — and why a food justice approach is necessary to achieve those wins. As communities across the country take action this Hunger Action Month, the address reinforces the critical action needed at the state and local level to end hunger – for good.
(Oregon Food Bank President Susannah Morgan is also available for interviews.)
“Even though the official pandemic emergency has passed, hunger remains stubbornly high in our communities,” shared Susannah Morgan, Oregon Food Bank President. “Free food markets, pantries and meal sites throughout the region continue to report record-high demand. Combined, we expect over a million people will seek emergency food assistance through the Oregon Food Bank Network this year alone.”
Despite the immense reach and impact of Oregon’s emergency food network — which includes 21 regional food banks and more than 1,400 food assistance sites — we know that we cannot end hunger through food alone. Action must be taken to prevent hunger from happening in the first place. That means addressing the policies and systems that drive hunger and poverty in our communities. The root causes of hunger are systemic, so the solutions must be systemic too. This approach to ending hunger requires food justice
“Food justice is more than just getting food on the table today. It's about making sure that food is available, affordable and sustainable for everyone, every day. Food justice is the belief that food is a human right,” shared Vicky Shwoeffermann, Oregon Food Bank Associate Director of Policy and Strategic Partnerships. “Hunger Action Month is a time when we all come together to bring focus, attention and action to the fight to end hunger… to the fight for food justice.”
September is Hunger Action Month — a time each year when people across the country join together to volunteer, donate and take action in the fight to end hunger and its root causes. Throughout the month, Oregon Food Bank shares information about current challenges and actions we can all take to end hunger for good. Learn more at OregonFoodBank.org/HungerActionMonth.
ABOUT OREGON FOOD BANK
At Oregon Food Bank, we believe that food and health are basic human rights for all. We know that hunger is not just an individual experience; it is also a community-wide symptom of barriers to employment, education, housing and health care. That’s why we work systemically in our mission to end hunger in Oregon: we build community connections to help people access nutritious, affordable food today, and we build community power to eliminate the root causes of hunger for good. Join us online at OregonFoodBank.org and @oregonfoodbank on social media.