Communities unite to pass seven measures that have a direct, meaningful impact on the root causes of hunger
Oregon Food Bank today celebrated the passage of seven endorsed state and local ballot measures that have a direct and meaningful impact on the root causes of hunger. From schools and libraries, to community safety, to addiction treatment and recovery, the 2020 elections presented an incredible opportunity to pass policies directly related to hunger at the ballot box. And Oregonians turned out in unprecedented numbers to support resilient, thriving communities.
“With so many Oregonians facing income loss from recent wildfires and the ongoing pandemic, we know emergency food assistance isn’t enough to solve the deep-rooted challenges that cause hunger and poverty,” said Moira Bowman, Oregon Food Bank Director of Advocacy. “That’s why policy change is so important. These new investments in our communities will reduce barriers for people facing hunger — and advance equity.”
In the midst of rising food insecurity and economic uncertainty — and one of the most consequential elections of our time — Oregon Food Bank launched its 2020 #VoteOutHunger campaign to raise awareness and generate support for ballot measures that help to address the drivers of hunger and poverty. Through a combination of digital advocacy, social engagement and community-led grassroots organizing, the state’s leading anti-hunger organization coordinated a sustained voter education effort — mobilizing thousands of supporters and allies across Oregon in support of key ballot measures.
2020 #VoteOutHunger Victories
- Campaign Finance Constitutional Amendment (Measure 107)
Unfair campaign donation policies mean the voices of wealthy donors are louder than those of our communities — especially community members facing hunger. This measure will help get big money out of politics and ensure the priorities of everyday Oregonians are heard.
- Decriminalization and Treatment (Measure 110)
Black, Indigenous and other People of Color are disproportionately arrested and imprisoned. This leads to unjust debt, family separation, and loss of employment and housing — all root causes of hunger. This measure will reduce punishment for possession of some drugs and instead support peoples’ health by making it easier to access treatment and recovery services.
- Multnomah County Library Bond (Measure 26-211)
Libraries are an important cornerstone of a thriving community — and a critical part of the social safety net for people and families facing hunger. Libraries provide access to the internet and other valuable community resources, coupled with a safe indoor space that doesn’t present cost barriers.
- Portland Parks and Recreation Levy (Measure 26-213)
All Oregonians should have access to nutritious food and healthy environments that support our overall well-being. This measure will help ensure that our parks and community centers continue to connect families to vital summer meal programs and other supportive resources — and create jobs in the process.
- Portland Public Schools Bond Renewal (Measure 26-215)
Our schools connect families to critical community resources — supporting children with daily meals and snacks. These funds invest in buildings and educational opportunities that help students and families thrive — especially in Black, Indigenous and communities of color.
- Preschool for All in Multnomah County (Measure 26-214)
Like their K-12 counterparts, early childhood education programs connect kids and their families with food and other essential resources. This measure will ensure all three-to-four–year-olds in Multnomah County have access to this critical support through tuition-free, year-round education — regardless of income.
- City of Portland Independent Oversight Committee (Measure 26-217)
This measure will create an independent body that investigates complaints and recommends community-centered reforms for the Portland Police Bureau. Made up of People of Color and other community members who disproportionately face hunger and poverty, the Oversight Committee will have the power to hold police accountable for their actions.
The endorsements are part of Oregon Food Bank’s ongoing efforts to not only address hunger as it occurs in Oregon and Southwest Washington — but to prevent hunger from happening in the first place. This holistic approach incorporates traditional food banking programs, advocacy for policy change and community organizing initiatives.
“Our mission is to end hunger and its root causes” said Susannah Morgan, Oregon Food Bank CEO. “Our community knows that we are the heart of a statewide food distribution Network. Yet folx don’t always see the incredible work we do alongside community members and allies to uproot hunger. These incredible partnerships helped to fuel this week’s ballot victories — and represent a real step toward building communities that never go hungry.”
Visit oregonfoodbank.org/voteouthunger for more information on endorsed ballot measures and other ways to get involved.