What does it mean to be food insecure?

“…food affects all aspects of our life…we don’t recognize it is taking a toll on these other aspects of our life until we have a discussion.”

Food insecurity continues to persist in Oregon, leaving many struggling to find enough to eat every month. Between 2013 and 2015, Oregon was the only state to see an increase in food insecurity and hunger, even as the national rate declined and Oregon’s economy grew.

We believe that our movement is stronger involving the real experts—people who have experienced hunger—in our research and decisions.

In 2016 and 2017, through 13 focus groups we interviewed 95 SNAP participants throughout Oregon asking the questions:

  • What prevents SNAP participants from becoming food secure?
  • How do SNAP participants obtain food security?

The results identified that multiple interventions at individual, interpersonal, perceived environment, personal environment, built environment and policy levels are most effective at improving food security for SNAP participants.

Finding food security across Oregon

Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon recognizes that among those experiencing poverty some people are at far greater risk of hunger. Food insecurity disproportionately impacts communities of color, recent immigrants, families with children and particularly households led by single mothers, people with disabilities, the LGBTQ community and people in rural areas of Oregon. In these focus groups, we strive to represent communities disproportionately impacted by hunger.

The results of this work in the Portland-Metro area during 2016 are also documented separately.

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