As neighbors and members of the same communities, we share many of the same hopes and fears and we all want what’s best for our families. One of the fundamental differences between us is that some of us know where our next meal is coming from and some do not. One in six Oregonians face food insecurity. They struggle silently and make heart-wrenching decisions that nobody should have to make. The need for food is essential and immediate. Without the basic security of knowing when you will eat next it is difficult to focus on anything else. The daily fight to survive can consume your life.
Felicia lives in Coos Bay Oregon and is grateful for your generosity.
"I've really noticed the difference in my skin and body since I got poor. It seems like such a contradiction, but I gained weigh being homeless. I don't even look like me anymore. I've always been a person who was really conscious and careful about what I put in my body. I know what I'm eating now is not good food, but my alternative is to eat nothing.
I lost my job and it only takes about three months for everything to go crazy. All of a sudden you're struggling. I was a web developer and I worked for a company that just up and moved to Tennessee. They said, "If you guys want to move to Tennessee, then make your way there and we'll give you an interview." Not even a job, just an interview. How were we going to make our way to Tennessee?
I’m starting all over. I went from a nice salary to a minimum wage job at a call center. I'm grateful, because there are people who don't have that, but at the same time my health issues are increasing because I have no money."
Felicia participated in Oregon Food Bank's Voices Project. It takes courage to stand up and tell your story so that others might better understand what it means to live with food insecurity. We want to thank the women and men who decided to share their thoughts and experiences with us. Their stories provide us with valuable insight and help us better accomplish our mission to eliminate hunger and its root causes ... because no one should be hungry.
Thank you for your support and dedication to hunger relief. During the holidays Oregon Food Bank is abuzz with activity. Volunteers packing, inventory specialists picking orders for partner agencies and everyone thanking the community for the year-round support.
We could not do what we do without donors like you. $10 allows us to acquire and distribute a food box. One food box feeds a family of four for three to five days.
Our intention is to acquire and distribute more produce; improving the nutritional content of an emergency food box. Our efforts are paying off and statewide we are seeing an uptick of healthy choices being offered throughout the Network.
Let me share April's story, just one individual of the over 900,000 people we serve in Oregon and Clark County, Wash.
Many people are struggling from payday to payday, turning to resources such as SNAP and food banks to get by.
Thank you for caring and sharing.
Astoria's Food Bank Fresh program increases healthy options
Fresh produce can be expensive if you live outside of the I-5 corridor, but a new program is helping get healthy food to low-income residents in Clatsop County. Last summer, CCA Regional Food Bank in Astoria piloted Food Bank Fresh, a market-style program to distribute a variety of fresh produce. The food comes from many sources including the garden and orchard surrounding the agency's Warrenton warehouse and donations from local gardeners. Those who stop by are offered recipes along with storage and usage tips.
Each week, the market is set up for two hours at locations in Astoria, Seaside and Warrention. By the end of this year, CCA director Marlin Martin estimates they will have served more than 45,000 people and distributed over 300,000 pounds of fresh produce.
Food Bank Fresh is one innovative way our partners are promoting better nutrition and distributing more food to those in need. This highly efficient program would not be possible without your donation to and support of Oregon Food Bank and the Oregon Food Bank Network.
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.
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.
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Corporate Relations Developer