At Oregon Food Bank, we believe food is a human right. Every day we work to connect Oregonians to free and nourishing food. Yet we know that food assistance alone will not solve hunger. We must invest in policy changes that address hunger at its roots.
This year, our elected officials in Salem have the opportunity to act on three policies that will radically reduce hunger in Oregon. If passed, these policies will close the food assistance gap for Oregonians who are excluded from critical programs, ensure every child can eat free meals at school, and expand access to fruits and vegetables for families who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
We envision a future where no one goes hungry — and these investments and policy changes will move us several steps closer to making this vision a reality:
Food for All Oregonians (SB 610):
Food for All Oregonians creates a state-funded program that will expand food assistance programs to 62,000 Oregonians who have been excluded from SNAP benefits due to immigration status. The program will also build on successful community-driven navigator models and make applying for assistance more welcoming and accessible.
Universal School Meals (HB 5014):
This bill would ensure that every K-12 student in Oregon can eat meals at school at no cost. Universal access to school meals would reduce stigma, support working parents, and boost student achievement by ensuring no child is hungry at school.
Double Up Food Bucks (HB 2728):
Double Up Food Bucks makes it easier for low-income Oregonians to eat fresh fruits and vegetables by matching SNAP purchases dollar-for-dollar at participating grocery stores, farmer’s markets and CSAs — all while supporting family farmers and local economies. This bill would expand the number of grocery stores able to offer Double Up Food Bucks and lay the groundwork to improve and simplify the experience for customers.
Food insecurity is worsening in Oregon as prices for everything from groceries to housing go up. We expect more than a million people will seek emergency food assistance through the Oregon Food Bank Network this year — significantly more people than we saw pre-pandemic. 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.
We need our elected leaders to act now to support community-led solutions like Food for All Oregonians, Universal School Meals, and Double Up Food Bucks — to ensure everyone in our state has access to the essential resources we need to thrive.
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.