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Wyden, Merkley: Oregon Food Bank Southeast Oregon Services to Receive $66,900 Federal Investment

Rural development funds for Eastern Oregon mainstay to buy a refrigerated box truck, fuel and insurance for two years

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced Oregon Food Bank Southeast Oregon Services in Ontario will receive a $66,900 federal investment to buy a refrigerated box truck, fuel and insurance for two years – all of which will help this community mainstay respond to increased food demand in Malheur and Harney counties.

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“Quality of life in Malheur and Harney counties begins with ensuring everybody has access to food, and that’s exactly what the Food Bank works hard to achieve every day of the year,” Wyden said. “After hearing from Oregonians during and after my town hall last month in both counties about the economic challenges facing Eastern Oregon, I’m gratified the Food Bank has earned these federal resources so its hardworking staff and volunteers can help fight hunger for families and children.”
“In the richest country in the world, no child or family should have to go hungry,” said Senator Merkley. “The work of the Oregon Food Bank Southeast Oregon Services in Ontario is critical to Oregonians across Malheur and Harney counties and this funding will help them get food to those who need it most.”

The $66,900 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will help the Oregon Food Bank Southeast Oregon Services travel the long distances in Malheur and Harney counties to source food and deliver food by replacing the current aging truck and providing other support to ensure essential food distribution to residents.

"While a refrigerated truck may seem like just a piece of equipment, it is going to transform our community's access to culturally relevant food. Oregon Food Bank - Southeast Oregon Services provides over 900,000 pounds of food to more than 35,000 individuals per year across Malheur and Harney counties and this refrigerated truck will allow us to better serve our neighbors," said Sheila Hiatt, Southeast Oregon Services Branch Operations Manager at Oregon Food Bank. "We are grateful to Senators Wyden and Merkley for their support as we overcome geographical barriers to food access, and we look forward to continued partnership tackling root causes of hunger together."

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Oregon Food Bank - Southeast Oregon Services supports equitable access to free, nutritious food and bring people and organizations together to end hunger for good throughout the region. We work in partnership with neighbors experiencing hunger — from organizing mobile pantries to supporting local farms and farmers. Learn more and get involved at oregonfoodbank.org/ontario.

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