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The Power of Lived Experience

We know that people who have experienced hunger and its root causes are the true experts — leaders who are best positioned to identify and advance solutions. As an organization, we value lived experience in every aspect of our work, from recruitment and promotion of food bank staff to the leadership of volunteers and community members.

Throughout September and beyond, we’re introducing you to colleagues who are transforming our organization to reflect the society we’re working toward. Meet Darwin Robins, an anchor presence in our central warehouse and inspiration for us all in love and generosity.

What drives me to be a part of OFB is the fact that we need love in our community. Everywhere you look, you see a lot more negative than you see positive,” Darwin said. “Whatever little bit of love that I can show — being of assistance to somebody in need — that’s what I want to do.

Darwin points to the critical work we do each day to connect communities with resources, right alongside long-term efforts to address hunger’s root causes.

It’s very important to have an organization that believes in those values. If we address homelessness...address what the root problem is, and come up with solutions. That’s why I work here — because we’re addressing these as best we can.

Through the leadership of people with lived experience — and the incredible support and generosity of the Oregon Food Bank community — we’ve been able to quickly adapt to meet the layered crises of COVID-19 and natural disasters head-on. And we’re not slowing down in our evolution toward community-driven solutions to hunger and poverty. We hope you’ll join us in taking the next step in the journey today.

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