In June, 13-year-old Jadyn was brave enough to share his family's struggle with hunger. He did so in an effort to preserve support for food banks and programs like SNAP (food stamps) that ensure thousands of families, like his, have enough to eat. We thank Jadyn for his courage and candor.
There are so many ways to help eliminate hunger and its root causes. Jadyn shared his story. Donors like you contribute funds to purchase- in volume- bulk commodities. Volunteers help repack food. Together we can make a difference in Oregon and Clark County, Washington.
Thank you for your continued support of Oregon Food Bank
Our project asks to support the immediate need of food insecurity in Oregon and Clark County, Washington. You respond and we thank you!
Did you know that Oregon Food Bank works to eliminate hunger and its root causes. We are having an impact on both the immediate as well as long-term efforts in hunger relief and in April, Feeding America recognized and applauded the creativity of our FEAST program.
Oregon Food Bank received a 2013 Innovation Award in food banking at the annual Feeding America Network Executive Directors' Forum in Nashville. Feeding America presents the award to the year’s most innovative programs from the 202 food banks across the nation in the Feeding America network.
Judges awarded Oregon Food Bank for its FEAST (Food, Education, Agriculture, Solutions, Together) program, an initiative that helps to create a "big tent" approach to food banking by empowering community members to build healthier, more equitable and more resilient food systems through a community organizing model. During FEAST events, community members tell the story of their local food system and are introduced to community food systems organizing principles and language from throughout the area. Outcomes of the FEAST process have included partnerships between farmers and emergency food providers, new farm-to-school partnerships, new and expanded farmers’ markets, and the formation of food systems coalitions. The FEAST program has also become a key strategy in the food bank’s work by building stronger, more-connected communities and mobilizing existing resources to improve local food systems and individual food self-sufficiency. “Oregon Food Bank continues to show why it’s a leader in our Network,” said Bob Aiken, president and CEO of Feeding America, the nation’s leading hunger relief charity. “This award shows the innovation and creativity of the food bank’s staff to help fight hunger in their community.” “We are thrilled to receive this national honor,” said Susannah Morgan, CEO, Oregon Food Bank. “I especially recognize the thoughtful work of OFB’s community food security team, Sharon Thornberry and Megan Newell-Ching, who have crisscrossed Oregon to introduce FEAST in more than 40 communities. The beauty of this model is that it builds on community empowerment and self-determination. It encourages people to envision – and bring about – what works best for their own special place.
Together we can make a difference in so many peoples lives. Thank you!
OFB's 2011-12 Annual Report has been published. Arnie Gardner, Oregon Food Bank Board Chair addresses the challenges and changes we faced and will continue to face for years to come.
"In FY 2011-12, we continued our leadership role in the fight against hunger by digging deeper. As our lagging economy forced more and more families into poverty, our commitment to innovative programs and strategic planning powered our ability to provide hope and help where it was needed most."
To support our efforts to increase the nutritional quality of the food we distribute, OFB was selected as one of 12 food banks in the nation to participate in the “Healthy Options, Healthy Meals” program, a partnership with MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger. Enhanced receiving systems and staff processes now allow OFB to track the nutritional content of food in greater detail. The two-year nutrition evaluation and policy pilot also laid the foundation for partnerships — whenever possible — with our food donors to prioritize food that is low in fat, sugar and sodium.
Our project aims to purchase emergency food but now we face the challenge to evaluate the nutritional value as well as cost. Our soup/chili costs will be higher when we choose the low sodium, lower fat options and your donations make this possible.
Since my last report your donations have allowed us to purchase over 50,000 lbs of shelf-stable nutritionally- sound food for emergency food distribution. Thank you!
Long-term unemployment, persistent underemployment, inadequate SNAP benefits and the high cost of food, gasoline, utilities and rent are the leading reasons people seek emergency food, according to the 2012 biennial Hunger Factors Assessment released this month by the Oregon Food Bank Network of Regional Food Banks.
The OFB Network of Regional Food Banks conducts the Hunger Factors Assessment (HFA) every two years. This year, 4,599 emergency-food recipients at 162 pantries in Oregon and Clark County, Wash., completed the survey.
The survey shows the poorest of the poor are getting poorer. Nearly two-thirds of respondents (61 percent) reported a drop in monthly income during the past two years. Nearly, 75 percent reported incomes below the federal poverty line (gross income of $23,050 for a family of four).“We were faithful donors to the food pantry before we went down to a one-person income. Thank you for helping us during this difficult time,” said one survey respondent.“We’ve lost our business, our work, our home and have sold our stuff. God help us if things don’t change,” another survey respondent said.“Political candidates on both sides of the aisle tell us what they’ll do for the middle class. But we hear little about what they’ll do to help those who live in poverty,” said Janeen Wadsworth, interim CEO of Oregon Food Bank. “The Hunger Factors Assessment paints a vivid picture of who is hungry and why. Once families have lost their jobs, their savings and their homes, it can take years for them to get back on their feet again.”For the second year in a row, the Oregon Food Bank Network distributed more than one million (1,117,673) emergency food boxes from July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012. That’s a 9 percent increase over the previous year.“We are seeing more and more families with children who are working yet still struggle to feed their families due to the rising cost of living,” said Captain Dwayne Patterson, Salvation Army – Moore Street, one of the 162 pantries that participated in the survey.“Food is a basic human need. It is unconscionable that more than a third of those eating meals from emergency food boxes are children. Congress must adequately fund SNAP. Underfunding these programs would cause irreparable harm to low-income people, particularly children,” Wadsworth stated. 4,599 survey respondents speak outWhen asked: “What happened to bring you to a food pantry?”• More than half (56 percent) of the respondents said they ran out of SNAP benefits (“food stamps”). That compares to 50 percent in 2010.
• Almost half (48 percent) of the respondents cited high food cost as one reason they needed emergency food, compared to 44 percent in 2010. “SNAP limits need to be raised to adjust for higher food costs,” wrote one respondent. “The cost of food has gone up, but the amount of SNAP stays the same,” stated another respondent.• 40 percent cited high gasoline costs, a sharp jump from 29 percent in 2010.“Gas and health care are too expensive,” one respondent wrote. • 27 percent said long-term unemployment forced them to seek emergency food, compared to 22 percent in 2008, before the recession. “We’ve been unemployed more than two years. We keep applying. There are jobs, but we haven’t had luck getting them. Please tell elected officials the recession isn’t over yet,” said a survey respondent. • About a fifth (18 percent) report they need help because their wages are too low. “If we had better jobs, we wouldn’t need to ask for something as basic as food,” wrote one respondent.“I have a bachelor’s degree and have been looking for work for 2.2 years. The only work I’ve found is for low wages,” wrote another respondent.“Many jobs don’t pay enough to cover the basics,” stated another.• And a quarter of respondents cited high rent or mortgage. “The 2012 Hunger Factors Assessment results clearly show the continuing fallout of the massive job losses caused by the recession and the need for adequate support for SNAP,” said Wadsworth. “Congress’s proposed cuts to SNAP would greatly increase the number of Oregonians seeking emergency food and would simply overwhelm our network.”
The bright spot: The one bright spot of the survey shows that even though the hole is deep, some people are beginning to dig out. Households reporting at least one member with a full-time job increased from 22 percent in 2010 to 27 percent in 2012.
Together we can help those in need byacquiring and distributing emergency food boxes. Thank you for your continued support.
Oregon Food Bank’s Board of Directors has appointed Susannah Morgan, executive director of Food Bank of Alaska, as CEO of Oregon Food Bank, effective Nov. 5, 2012. The OFB Board selected Morgan after a thorough national search, following the retirement of Rachel Bristol, June 30.
“Susannah brings 13 years of extensive experience in the nonprofit sector and strong leadership in food-banking in the national arena,” said Arnie Gardner, chair, OFB Board of Directors. “She has the passion, vision and skills to build on OFB’s successes and to move OFB forward during a time of tremendous need and opportunity. We are thrilled to welcome her to Oregon Food Bank and look forward to introducing her to our community.”
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