The state revenue forecast underscores the opportunity to deliver results on food security, affordable housing, healthcare access and more — but only if senators return to work now.
PORTLAND, OR — As our state marks another week without functional government despite positive revenue projections, Oregon Food Bank CEO Susannah Morgan today released the following statement on the Senate Republican walkout and its impact on critical programs:
“Our communities continue to face historically high rates of hunger. Between the rising cost of food and housing, and federal cuts to families’ grocery budgets, the Oregon Food Bank Network expects more than a million visits from Oregonians seeking emergency food assistance this year. From critical investments in food assistance to policy changes that address the drivers of hunger and poverty, the Republican walkout in the State Senate jeopardizes our work to end hunger at its roots.
“With the new revenue forecast, we can make Food for All Oregonians possible — ensuring that everyone in our state has access to food assistance, regardless of where we were born. And we have a real opportunity to deliver results on affordable housing, healthcare, childcare and the vital services Oregon families need to thrive.
“If legislators don’t show up to do their jobs, these priorities won’t receive state support. Without a democracy that works for all of us, more people face hunger and poverty. It’s understandable to have policy differences. But Senators who choose to walk away due to those expected differences are walking away from their responsibility to Oregon families who are making impossible choices between putting food on the table and paying their bills.
“There is widespread support across rural, urban and suburban communities for the policies and investments we need to end hunger for good — and Oregon Food Bank is proud to partner with elected leaders of many political stripes in this work. Our state has the resources to make a real difference in people’s lives; it’s time for legislators to come together, do what’s right for our communities and get back to work on behalf of people facing hunger in Oregon.”