Increase Food Security in Oregon

May 9, 2011

Meet someone who has benefitted from your generous support


Imagine that your family loses part or all of its income and suddenly you find that you can’t pay all of your bills in full. You change your lifestyle, use your savings, sell your assets and use your dwindling credit to make ends meet. You face choices no one should ever have to make because of your limited budget. You choose toilet paper over laundry soap, electricity over food, and life-saving medication for a family member over essential, preventative medical care for yourself. Sometimes you skip meals so your children have enough to eat.

Too many of our neighbors face choices like these every day. The goal of Oregon Food Bank’s annual Voices project is to bring attention to some of their stories. In October and November of 2010, more than 50 people attended our focus groups in Albany, Beaverton, Cottage Grove, Glide and Portland.

“I got laid off at the beginning of this year after I was one of their best employees for six years. I’ve put out hundreds of resumes and gotten some interviews, but I haven’t been hired yet. I raise a little girl and it’s been hard. We got to the point where we were eating one meal a day. My friend told me about this food pantry and it has really helped. Now
we’re at two or three meals a day.”
Wesley.  Portland, OR.

With your support, people like Welsey and his daughter are being helped by the Oregon Food Bank Network.  Thank you for your continued support ...because no one should be hungry.


Feb 7, 2011

Hunger Hurts Kids

Kids volunteering at OFB
Kids volunteering at OFB

Dear Friends,

Thank you for the tremendous outpouring these past few months.  Your financial donations help us meet the demand for emergency food.

An estimated 240,000 people eat from emergency food boxes via the Oregon Food Bank Network in an average month.  Did you know that 33% of those receiving food are children?  So, in an average month, 79,200 children are eating from an emergency food box.  Children who are hungry get sick more often and have more trouble learning in school.  And childhood hunger takes a tragic toll on families and communities. 

In 1971 school-aged children decided to help their peers and created an event named Project Second Wind.  This is a fun, food drive competition between schools to see which school can raise the most pounds per student.  Since its creation, Project Second Wind has raised 6 million pounds of food! This food drive runs in late February and early March to provide a second wind of food after the holidays.  Will you help in this effort by making a donation today?

Our mission is to end the root causes of hunger and with your support we continue to aim for that goal through education, advocacy, and food distribution. Thank you!

Nov 16, 2010

Lastest USDA hunger report released

Recession takes its toll on families

Latest USDA hunger report shows continuing hunger crisis in Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. (Nov. 15, 2010) – Hunger in Oregon continued to hover far above the national average as the Great Recession battered Oregon’s economy, according to the 2009 hunger report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

  • Oregon, once again, remains among the top five hungriest states in the nation, as it was last year.
  • About 13.9 percent of households – more than half-a-million Oregonians – suffered food insecurity.
  • And 6.6 percent of households – more than 225,000 individuals -- suffer very low food security – or hunger.

Food-insecure households had difficulty providing enough food for their family because they lacked resources. About a third of food-insecure households suffer very low food security (hunger), which means they cut or skipped meals, sometimes for whole days, because they didn’t have enough money or other resources for food.

“No one should be hungry,” said Rachel Bristol, CEO, Oregon Food Bank. “Hunger affects a child’s ability to learn and a worker’s ability to be productive. Ultimately, it affects everyone in our society. Working together, we can eliminate hunger and its root causes,” said Bristol. “It’s not only the right thing to do, it makes economic sense.”

 “The bad economy has taken a hard toll on Oregonians. The unemployment rate remains high, along with home foreclosures and other indicators that families are struggling,” said Patti Whitney-Wise, executive director, Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon. “This report shows us that Oregonians are choosing to go without food to pay for needs such as housing, healthcare and childcare.”

These numbers are the harsh reality but with your assistance Oregon Food Bank has been able to distribute a record number of pounds of food for hunger relief.  Thank you for supporting our efforts ...because no one should be hungry.

Sep 20, 2010

Expanding the community food system

Garden Volunteer
Garden Volunteer

Dear Friends,

Did you know that Oregon Food Bank was created in the early 1980s when Oregon was in a bad recession? The economic downturn was fueled by timber mill closures and government layoffs; unemployment was at 12 percent. At the time, we served 200,000 people annually. Today, unemployment in the state remains above 10 percent. And, the OFB Network distributed more than 900,000 emergency food boxes last year in Oregon and Clark County, Wash. The demand for emergency food has grown over the years but, fortunately, so have our programs and donations of food, money and volunteer time.

Donors, like you, have allowed us to meet the demand for emergency food through specific product purchases to round out the emergency food boxes. During the spring/summer we also supplement the non-perishable goods with produce from gardens throughout the state.

As reliance on the OFB Network has grown we have had to work strategically to meet the needs. One area that is flourishing is our Learning Garden program. Oregon Food Bank directly manages two gardens that not only provide produce but also teach the community how to be self-reliant. "The though economy has renewed people's interest in gardening," says Rebeca Siplak, OFB Learning Garden program coordinator. "I'm excited for the future of the program as more and more people learn to garden. Each family that can grow its own food brings us one step closer to creating a strong, local, sustainable food system, eventually eliminating hunger."

OFB's garden education programs address the root causes of hunger through improved nutrition, community food security and self-reliance. For many clients, the produce they receive from the Oregon Food Bank Network local partner agencies is their only source of produce. They just can't afford to buy it at the grocery store.

Our mission is to end the root causes of hunger and with your support we continue to aim for that goal through education, advocacy, and food distribution. Thank you!

Jun 16, 2010

Need Remains High

Food distributed to agencies
Food distributed to agencies

Despite reports that the economic contraction is easing, partner agencies are serving as many clients now as they did when the need rose two years ago. In Oregon, the jobless rate last month was 10.6 percent. Washington state saw 9.5 percent. The picture in Clark County, a county the Oregon Food Bank Network serves, the picture was much worse. The unadjusted jobless rate from February 2009- March 2010 was 12.3 percent. Across the Columbia River in Multnomah County, the rate was 10.3.

Partner Agencies, those serving the people in need, are grateful to donors like you, who help ease the strain of the increased need for emergency food. Andrea Walker, chairman and executive director of One Life, an Oregon Food Bank partner agency, says the pantry has enough food to serve its clients, but the need for food assistance in the area remains great. And Timothy Norris, assistant shelter coordinator for City Team Ministries, says that whether clients "come from the street or nearby housing, the number of people seeking help is up." But, he says, the agency is doing well and has survived the economic downturn, thanks to the community and food grants from OFB." Food Grants are made possible through donations on this site. Thank you!

"We anticipate that people in our service area will feel the effects of this recession for the next several years," said Rachel Bristol, OFB CEO. "It takes time for people to get back on their feet once they've lost their jobs, their health care and their homes. We need your continued support."

Thank you for supporting the community through food purchase. Oregon Food Bank could not do what we do without your support.


About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?


Project Leader

Sarah Schirmer

Corporate Relations Developer
Portland, OR United States

Where is this project located?