Increase Food Security in Oregon

by Oregon Food Bank, Inc.
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Increase Food Security in Oregon
Increase Food Security in Oregon
Increase Food Security in Oregon
Increase Food Security in Oregon
Increase Food Security in Oregon
Increase Food Security in Oregon
Increase Food Security in Oregon
Increase Food Security in Oregon
Increase Food Security in Oregon
Increase Food Security in Oregon
Increase Food Security in Oregon
Increase Food Security in Oregon
Increase Food Security in Oregon
Increase Food Security in Oregon
Increase Food Security in Oregon
Increase Food Security in Oregon
Increase Food Security in Oregon
Increase Food Security in Oregon
Increase Food Security in Oregon
Increase Food Security in Oregon
Increase Food Security in Oregon

Gardening prorams help vulnerable populations connect 

This past spring, Oregon Food Bank launched a new project specifically tailored to immigrant and refugee populations in the Portland Metro Area. "Gardening connects me to my community," says Matthieu Kambumb, a Seed to Supper Ambassador. Participants repeatedly tell their community ambassadors that their stress falls away when they work the soil. "There is loneliness, stress, frustration so this is, for them, social therapy," says Yonas Kassie, another ambassador. "Especially elderly women, single moms." 

Many participants already possess the farming and gardening knowledge from their home country. For them, this program introduces the nuances of Northwest growing conditions and different produce for this climate - all in their own language. 

Thanks to you, three additional ambassadors will be trained to teach gardening classes and recruit participants. Watch the stories from this year's program at youtube.com/oregonfoodbank. 

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People are trying hard

Struggling to make ends meet, many use pantries to fill the void

"You can be a person that works every day you know, but what you're making is enough just to pay rent and keep gas in your car", explains Monique who lives in Washington County. She has three children and does IT contract work that can be sporadic. When school is out, her children use the summer meals program: "It's still hard to make the ends meet, to get enough food and make sure you have the necessities to be able to go to work every day."

Thousands of people like Monique are trying to keep themselves afloat. They work, pay bills, worry about their kids and buying groceries. “The people that use food banks or that need food stamps are trying. I think that's a big thing that a lot of people need to understand. It's just there is a lack due to circumstances and the food bank is helping them fill that void.”

Your support of Oregon Food Bank supplies food pantries with produce, meat, dairy and pantry staples for thousands of Oregonians who are experiencing hunger.

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Market distributes healthy food to people in need
Market distributes healthy food to people in need

Fresh, nutritious, free!

Reinvented program aims to get produce where it’s most needed

 

“Beautiful.” “So fresh.” “Mangoes are my favorite.” As people go through the line at a recent Free Food Market they repeatedly comment on the high quality of the produce. For many who experience hunger, fresh produce is a luxury. For more than a dozen years, Oregon Food Bank, along with its partners, has been running free produce distributions. Once called Community Basket or Harvest Share, the programs were recently combined and renamed Free Food Market.  

“Free Food Market clearly communicates what’s being offered and it translates well into other languages,” says Rob Rutledge-Shryock, Oregon Food Bank’s community food programs coordinator. “In addition to fresh produce the markets now have a small selection of pantry staples, such as chicken stock, rice and oil.”

Usually running in partnership with non-profit and community-led organizations, Free Food Market is held at 33 locations across the Portland-metro area. Food items can be adjusted to better match cultural and dietary needs of the community.

Your support of Oregon Food Bank ensures that Free Food Market is able to hold monthly distributions of high-quality foods in underserved communities. To find out more about Free Food Market or other Community Food Programs, visit oregonfoodbank.org/freefoodmarket.  

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Fresh Alliance Expansion
Fresh Alliance Expansion

Fresh Alliance expansion  brings more variety to pantries Produce helps meet needs of diverse population

Oregon Food Bank’s Fresh Alliance program continues to grow, recently adding WinCo to the list of participating grocers. The program is designed to recover safe, edible grocery items (that might otherwise be composted or discarded) and offer them to people in need. Adding stores will mean changing driver routes and working with pantries to take over some of the responsibilities. The Salvation Army in Gresham is one of 35 pantries in the Portland metro area now picking up Fresh Alliance directly from stores.

“A few years ago we could not meet the dietary needs of some of our clients, and now they love the selection,” said Maxine Lawrence, family services coordinator for Salvation Army in Gresham. “Some people can’t do processed foods, especially diabetics or folks with heart issues. It’s just been a godsend.”

Your contribution to Oregon Food Bank makes the expansion of this program a reality and increases the amount of healthy food available to people struggling to make ends meet. More information about Fresh Alliance can be found by visiting oregonfoodbank.org/freshalliance. 

Kathy's Story - A Single Mom's Struggle to Survive in Oregon

"My name is Kathy, I live with my ten year old son Jonny, I got him when he was three months. My husband left when Jonny was 5, so we ended up in a homeless shelter for a year and half. Then my husband came back and we got back together again but he passed away last year. The thing that changed is my income; I only have a third of the income we had when he was alive. We exist on $860 a month. I get less than $200 a month on SNAP. Having food stamps is very helpful - if it was cut, even in half, oh my gosh I’m not sure what I would do! I go to the food bank to supplement my food stamps. I volunteer at the Sherwood food bank, Willowbrook, where I pick up food and help distribute it to the families. I have been hearing that they want to cut the food stamps, and I think it would be disastrous not just for myself but for everyone involved. There are lot of people who have children. I have always worked all my life, but I’ve run into situations like with my health, and my husband dying, and I have to depend on things like food stamps and food bank. I don’t like it, and I know that there’s a lot of other people that were able bodied at one time and worked all their lives, and have gotten into situations where they now need help. Food is not a luxury, it should never be a luxury, that’s why even though it comes out of my pocket to go spend a little extra gas to go volunteer, I just feel the need to help other people in my situation.”

GlobalGiving Mother's Day Campaign

Did you know that 44% of Oregon Food Bank recipients are single mothers? This number is 10% higher than the national average. These courageous women struggle every day to feed their children before themselves and they need YOUR help.

This Mother’s Day, will you make a donation in honor of Mothers in Oregon, and help us to provide them with ingredients for nutritious meals so they don’t have to feed their children before themselves? By contributing now to the GlobalGiving Mother’s Day Campaign, a $10 donation has an immediate and powerful impact that creates 30 meals!

Mom and Child Eat Together
Mom and Child Eat Together
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Cindy helps serve her neighbors
Cindy helps serve her neighbors

VOICES brings stories of hunger to light

Cindy cares for people. Whether it's her mom or granddaughter or a neighbor down the hall, she does what she can to make lives better.

"I appreciate what I get from the food pantry and am even more appreciate of the folks that work there, " she says. "In my building there's a deaf woman and a blind woman who are unable to drive to get to a food pantry. And there's only one program that will bring hot food to these folks." 

She adds that others lack support systems. "At the end of the month these people are barely hanging on. So, I give food to them, " says Cindy. "We need to find a way to work together to address these folks who aren't being cared for." 

Your support of Oregon Food Bank supplies pantries with fresh produce, meat, dairy and pantry staples for thousands of people experiencing hunger. 

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Organization Information

Oregon Food Bank, Inc.

Location: Portland, OR - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @oregonfoodbank
Project Leader:
Lauren Zielinski
Portland, OR United States
$138,696 raised of $140,000 goal
 
765 donations
$1,304 to go
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