Hunger.Hope.Help

by Oregon Food Bank, Inc.
Monthly produce improves lives in Celilo Village
Monthly produce improves lives in Celilo Village

Native Village Benefits from Harvest Share program 

On the Columbia River just outside of The Dalles sits the Native American community of Celilo Village. The introduction of dams along the river decimated a community that used to attract tribal members from around the Northwest because of its plentiful salmon. Today, Celilo Village struggles with high unemployment and poverty. 

However, the situation is changing. Last summer Oregon Food Bank partnered with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Oregon Department of Human Services to establish a Harvest Share program, a monthly distribution of fresh produce. The program improves access to many fruits and vegetables that are expensive or in short supply. Reseidents are already seeing health benefits. One village elder said, "Thank you so much for the apples. I believe by eating them this week I have started getting better and over my illness!" 

With your help, Oregon Food Bank and our partners will be able to improve food access for marginalized groups and communities of color around the state. 

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Dewey in the Marines
Dewey in the Marines

“It all started with a packet of flower seeds,” says Dewey Morris. “They were four o’clocks and I was fascinated by how they opened up in the afternoon sun.” Dewey, a former Marine, struggled after returning from Iraq. He felt lost, depressed and couldn’t get his feet under him.

Looking for somewhere to put his focus, Dewey began gardening. “The more I put my hands in the soil, the happier I felt,” says Dewey. The garden has helped heal some of the combat wounds that can’t be seen. “My soul felt like a jigsaw puzzle thrown all over the place. And as I’m getting into gardening, it feels like that puzzle’s being put back together.”

As a Seed to Supper volunteer in Klamath County, Dewey hopes to inspire the people around him. “It really makes them happy when they put a seed in the ground and take care of it… that’s the most rewarding part.” Dewey also works with several community gardens and hopes to one day create a healing garden for veterans.

You can listen to Dewey’s story by visiting oregonfoodbank.org/poweroffood.

Dewey teaches life-changing skills of gardening
Dewey teaches life-changing skills of gardening

Links:

Group of FEAST attendees making big plans.
Group of FEAST attendees making big plans.

With your help, more people will have access to better food

When the closest grocery store is nearly 25 miles away, you sometimes do without fresh produce. That's the challenge facing residents of Chiloquin, a small town nestled in southern Oregon's Klamath Basin. But change is on the horizon.

Perri of Klamath Tribal Health and Family Services learned about Oregon Food Bank's FEAST (Food, Education, Agriculture, Solutions Together) program when she attended the event in Grand Ronde two years ago. Impressed with Grand Ronde's success and renewed collaboration, Perri started the process to bring FEAST to Chiloquin. 

Months of planning finally paid off last April when 20 community leaders attended the Chiloquin FEAST event. Much of the discussion was centered on the town's best asset: a community garden. The 1.5 acre garden is available to tribal and non-tribal members. "I want everyone to get involved and take ownership of this. instead of a food desert, we could have a food oasis," says Perri. 

Your support of Oregon Food Bank allows the FEAST model to be shared in community around the state - creating stable food systems and thriving communities. 

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Woman receiving donations at Harvest Share
Woman receiving donations at Harvest Share

"I live with my husband, my son, my daughter and three teenagers that cannot be at their homes because of some difficult circumstances," says Christine from Drain. "You know it is really expensive to feed so many teenagers," Christine also says other kids in the nieghborhood come over because they don't have food. " I receive SNAP benefits and it helps, but I can't claim other people's kids even though I'm the one feeding them." Our community has many people like Christine. Oregon Food Bank's VOICES project illuminates real stories of hunger in Oregon and Clark County, Washington. 

"My husband works full time at the mill and we spend as much as he makes on food. There's a lot of times my husband and I don't eat so that the kids can eat. Really, we all skip meals sometimes," she adds. 

Your generous support gives voice to our neighbors facing hunger and helps them get through life's challenges. Read the 2016 report at oregonfoodbank.org/voices. 

Child picking out food at a Portland food pantry
Child picking out food at a Portland food pantry

Oregon Food Bank recently wrapped up our 2015 Hunger Factors Assessment, a survey of more than 5,000 people who visit food pantries. The survey helps paint a broader picture of why people seek food assistance. 

This year's survey results paint a mixed picture. The number of households who report cutting kids' meals has dropped from 37% in 2012 to 31% this year. Households where someone is unemployed and looking for work dropped to 16% compared to 23% in 2012. However, the number of households receiving SNAP benefits is teady at 58% compared to 62% three years ago. Households also continue to struggle to break the cycle of poverty; 72% report incomes below the federal poverty level. 

A bright spot in the report shows that food pantries make a significant difference in the lives of the people they serve. About 80% of respondents indicated that they can meet their food needs for the month with a visit to a pantry, while 52% of those who had previously visited a pantry said they were able to prepare healthier meals. Your support helped facilitate this report. To read more visit oregonfoodbank.org/factors

 

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Organization Information

Oregon Food Bank, Inc.

Location: Portland, OR - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.oregonfoodbank.org
Project Leader:
Lauren Zielinski
Portland, OR United States
$15,186 raised of $75,000 goal
 
142 donations
$59,814 to go
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