Summer is a precarious time for hunger relief. Kids are out of school where they may receive free/reduced lunches and lots of donors are on vacation. Oregon Food Bank doesn't take a holiday and we work tireless to help those in need in Oregon and Clark County, Washington all year long.
$10 still allows us to acquire an distribute one emergency food box which feeds a family of four for three to five days. Would you be willing to support our efforts?
Also, if you happen to have a green thumb, consider sharing your harvest with a local food pantry. For more information on this program we call "plant a row" Give-Food/Plant-a-Row-Program
Thank you for your support.
Do you remember who taught you how to cook? Was it your mom or maybe your grandfather? Even if you don’t consider yourself a good cook, you probably learned some skills to make a healthy meal. Meet Sidney. Through the efforts of the Multnomah County Health Department, he and a group ofdiabetic and pre-diabetic community members recently completed Share our Strength’s Cooking Matters™ classes taught by Oregon Food Bank’s Nutrition Education Program. These classes are offered to low-income individuals through Oregon Food Bank’s partnerships with social service organizations. In Sidney’s case, his condition isn’t the only challenge he faces; he’s also homeless and accesses emergency services to survive. Despite these obstacles, Sidney helps prepare food for hundreds of people who visit the dining hall at St. Francis of Assisi. But what really inspired Sidney were the volunteers who taught the Cooking Matters course. After the first class, he asked the St.Francis cooks if he could prepare the healthy turkey chili recipe for his fellow diners. They gave him the opportunity to fix this meal for over 150 people. Now there’s a special folder at St. Francis with all of Sidney’s recipes from his cooking class. Cooking Matters gave Sidney a feeling of hope and the experience of community. It’s donors like you that give people like Sidney the opportunity to take a course on healthy cooking that in turn will impact his health and the health of hundreds more.
Every day in Oregon, hundreds of thousands of our neighbors engage in a lonely and all but invisible struggle to afford enough food for themselves and their families. They face choices no one should have to, and they do so with so much strength, resilience and quiet dignity that most people never notice how prevalent hunger is in their neighborhoods.
In Tillamook, we met a man, Mike, who has been told his whole life that he shouldn’t even be alive.
“I’m one of those ghost people. It’s hard when you have disabilities. People always tell me I am a retard, I am no good, I shouldn’t even be alive. And I hear that constantly—my whole life. I’m the type that doesn’t like to get help; I have to do it on my own. The last few years have been really, really tough. I had to break down, put my pride on hold and get help from the food pantry. I’m the type who sits in the back of the room not saying anything. I’m one of those ghost people. I’m grateful for the food banks. If other people need help with food, I help them when I can. I help people who are a little bit worse off than me."
America’s narrative about poverty and hunger is dominated more and more every day by the false belief that people who are struggling are making poor choices or not working hard enough. The purpose of Oregon Food Bank’s annual Voices project is to shine a light on the real causes of hunger by bringing attention to real stories of people we serve. We traveled across the state to speak with food-insecure Oregonians about issues that matter to them.
We sincerely appreciate the honesty and courage of those who shared their experiences with us. These stories move and educate us. No one should be hungry, and so long as hunger still exists, no one should have to face it alone.