“Everyone Needs To Eat” – Non-Profits Working to End Hunger
Posted by Kelsey Tyler | 08 January 2013
Portland Center Stage partnered with students from Portland State University’s Arts Advocacy class to create a series of blogs about non-profits working to end hunger. The students visited the organizations, interviewed staff, and wrote blogs about their experience from a personal perspective. These blogs will be featured right here, weekly, during the run of I Love to Eat. Our first installment features the Oregon Food Bank, from the perspective of guest blogger Victoria Savanh.
Oregon Food Bank understands that hunger is an income issue and strives to eliminate it at its roots, working with a statewide network of regional food banks to fight hunger. Emergency food is distributed to hunger-relief agencies throughout Oregon and Clark County, Washington. Growing levels of long-term unemployment have forced more and more people to seek emergency food assistance. More than 73 percent of households receiving emergency food have incomes below the federal poverty level.
To fight hunger, OFB takes a holistic approach that includes hunger-relief agencies, community, education, and advocating for fair public policies. OFB provides technical assistance and training to agencies and addresses the issue on a community level by teaching low-income participants to grow food from seed and to budget and stretch food dollars while cooking healthy meals. Nutrition and garden education strive to create self-sufficient and resourceful communities. The Fresh Alliance program collects and distributes nutritious, perishable foods for people who are in need. Community organization works through FEAST (Food, Education, Agriculture Solutions Together) to provide workshops with the help of other partnerships to build stronger local food systems in communities.
OFB also has a team that advocates for fair public-policy solutions that will benefit hungry and low-income families, supporting policies that encourage economic opportunity, health and well-being, and community participation.
There are currently more projects than volunteers. Volunteers can spend an afternoon or evening repacking food for people who are hungry or can help with the Learning Garden and Fresh Alliance programs. OFB also takes food or money donations. For every $10 donated, they can distribute enough food to provide 30 meals.