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Solving hunger through inclusive democracy

At Oregon Food Bank, we know we cannot end hunger through food alone. We have to address the root causes of food insecurity — and that requires work to advance racial justice and an inclusive democracy that works for all of us.

Longtime systemic exclusions created the conditions that cause hunger and poverty in our communities. Many of these historic inequities remain today, and can be seen in disproportionate rates of food insecurity across Black, Indigenous and Communities of Color, immigrants and refugees, single moms and caregivers, and trans and gender-diverse communities. At any point in time, these communities are two to three times more likely to face hunger and poverty in our region.

All Oregonians deserve equitable opportunities to participate in public life and break down the barriers that exclude people from the halls of power — especially those of us who are low-income, or experiencing hunger and its root causes.

State lawmakers have only a few more weeks to pass policies that will bring more of our communities to the table and ensure people who speak a wider range of languages are able to participate. Send a message today to urge your legislators to support a more just and inclusive Oregon.

Learn more about the policy changes we’re supporting this legislative session:

Equitable Workgroups (HB 2650)
We know that the best solutions to hunger come from those of us who have experienced food insecurity in our own lives — and House Bill 2650 will help ensure that Oregon’s laws are informed by lived expertise. This legislation will bring more communities experiencing hunger and poverty to decision-making tables by providing compensation to people who take time from work or caregiving responsibilities to help shape our laws.
By including the voices of people directly impacted by a specific policy, lawmakers will be able to shape legislation to generate better outcomes in food and housing security, health, business, public safety, education and more. Learn more in Oregon Food Bank's legislative testimony on more equitable policy-making.
Indigenous Language Justice (SB 612 + SB 911)
Everyone deserves to understand and be understood in their doctor’s office, in the courtroom, and during life’s most important and difficult moments. Unfortunately that is not always the case for more than 35,000 Oregonians who speak one or more of the 30+ Indigenous languages from present-day Mexico, Central America and South America. Few of our existing state systems reliably provide services or interpretation in these languages — effectively excluding Indigenous language speakers from critical medical, legal and social services like food assistance.
Together, Senate Bills 612 and 911 would improve access for Indigenous language speakers, support the interpreter workforce and ensure the inclusion of Indigenous communities in government decisions. Learn more about these policies and how else you can support them on Learn more in Oregon Food Bank’s legislative testimony on language justice.

Food insecurity disproportionately affects specific communities in Oregon, regardless of geography. By improving systems and elevating these voices, we can ensure state leaders pursue the most effective solutions to hunger and poverty. Use our easy online form to urge Oregon legislators to advance inclusive democracy and root out hunger!

Ever since Republicans in the State Senate walked off the job, our state legislators have been blocked from passing these kinds of transformative policies and investments to end hunger for good.

We count on our elected officials to work for us, and it’s time for them to come together and do what’s right for our communities. Learn more and join us in urging Senate Republicans to come back to work on behalf of people facing hunger in Oregon.

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