Fast-moving fires are forcing thousands of our neighbors to leave their homes in search of safety. Oregon Food Bank is providing emergency support - including water, food and other critical supplies - and getting it to meeting points and food assistance sites. Though wildfires have impacted some locations, the vast majority of pantries and meal sites remain open. Your donation helps local families, farmers and ranchers throughout the region. Together, we can emerge stronger from this crisis.
The State of Oregon has reported that more than 1,100 homes have been destroyed by wildfires and that thousands of our neighbors are homeless, displaced or evacuated. Gov. Brown declared, "This could be the greatest loss of human lives and property due to wildfires in our state's history." This current wildfire crisis comes as the coronavirus and its economic fallout have doubled the number of Oregonians facing food insecurity.
Part of the disaster response network in our region, Oregon Food Bank is sourcing emergency water for people in evacuation points and coordinating at the local level to get food and supplies to people who have evacuated. We are prepared for communities and individuals in search of food assistance facing difficulties accessing food due to closures and/or air pollution. We are working to ensure food is kept at safe temperatures and to reopen all pantries when it is safe.
Oregon Food Bank will meet the evolving needs of our community head-on. We will find additional resources and adjust our food distribution systems to keep the flow of food steady despite pandemic or wildfires. We are pivoting toward solutions for reliable, community-based food access points that maintain the health and safety of our community. We will continue to distribute healthy food to anyone who requests it, which totaled 265,000 people monthly before the COVID-19 crisis.