2024 Legislation Session Policy Priorities

This session provides Oregon legislators with impactful opportunities to address Oregon’s ongoing hunger crisis. Currently, around 1 in 10 Oregonians are food insecure, and certain communities are consistently drastically more impacted, such as single mothers, renters, and the indigenous population. Oregon legislators must act now to address hunger on a systemic level. Below you’ll see recommendations for three policies that will support Oregonians directly accessing food, as well as a six additional policies addressing the intersection issues that drive hunger in our communities.

Our Policy Priorities

Fund Summer EBT administration to end summer hunger for Oregon’s kids

Consistent access to food is central to children’s ability to learn and grow, yet child hunger consistently spikes during summer months. Summer EBT is a new, federally-funded program that will provide $40/month per summer month to school-age children who qualify for free or reduced-price meals at school.

This program will bring $35 million in food assistance a year to Oregon’s kids, but state legislators need to act quickly to approve funding to cover just half of the annual administrative costs. With a modest initial investment, Oregon legislators have the opportunity to unlock federal funding and alleviate the summer hunger gap for Oregon’s kids.

Tell your legislators to prioritize Summer EBT funding in the ODHS budget request

Ensure Access to School Meals

Students can’t learn when they’re hungry, or when they’re worried about where their next meal will come from. Urgent action is required to make sure that schools have access to funds that are already set aside to provide school meals for Oregon’s kids.

The state has enough funding to allow hundreds of more schools to provide school meals for all students. To release this money, and allow schools to provide universal meals, state rules must align with federal rules. This needs to be accomplished quickly, either through the ODE agency rule change, or legislative action.

Pledge to support our School Meals for All coalition!

Student Emergency Needs Package – HB 4162

College and university students in Oregon are reporting increasing rates of food insecurity, housing instability and challenges affording and accessing textbooks, transportation, childcare, and other basic needs. The 2024 Student Emergency Needs Package is a bipartisan, student-centered effort to support Oregon’s Basic Needs Navigators and Textbook Affordability Program with $6 million dollars in one-time, emergency funding.

HB 4162 will ensure that the Benefits Navigators on college campuses will have resources to support the students that walk through the doors and prevent textbook affordability from becoming a financial crisis for students.

Learn more about the Student Emergency Needs Package

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