Oregon Food Bank, Inc.

To eliminate hunger and its root causes because no one should be hungry.
Feb 7, 2013

Digging Deeper

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!


Attachments:
Feb 7, 2013

Challenge and Change

OFB's 2011-12 annual report was just published.  Arnie Gardener, Oregon Food Bank Chair, shares his thoughts:

DEAR FRIENDS,

Challenge and change. Over the past year, these words were at the forefront of our efforts as Oregon Food Bank faced record levels of hunger in our region and bid a fond farewell to Rachel Bristol, our founding CEO, who retired in June.

With your generous support, OFB, the OFB Network of Regional Food Banks and our partner agencies distributed 81.7 million pounds of food — the equivalent of 68 million meals — to families and individuals who needed a helping hand. This staggering figure underscored the overwhelming need for emergency food in our region. But we know that distributing emergency food is only a partial solution to the problem we face.

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.

Our good work over the past year was made possible, in no small part, thanks to Rachel Bristol. During her 29 years of service,her tireless vision and tenacity guided OFB to become a highly respected, national model of collaboration and innovation. As we wish Rachel well on her retirement, we’re pleased to welcome Susannah Morgan, a committed, dynamic CEO who is excited to move us forward and build on OFB’s accomplishments.

It’s been a challenging year for Oregon Food Bank and the clients we serve. But your overwhelming support helped us bring immediate help to our neighbors in need and allowed us to focus on long-term solutions to fighting hunger at its root causes.

Your donations to this project helped distribute over 200 emergency food boxes to families in need since my last report.  Thank you!


Attachments:
Nov 19, 2012

Long-term unemployment creates long-term need

Father/daughter receiving services
Father/daughter receiving services

Why do so many families seek emergency food?

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 today 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 also 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.

When 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. 

“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.  

Mother/daughter receiving services
Mother/daughter receiving services
 
   

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