Hunger in Oregon

Saturday Market, Lane County Farmers Market - photo by marketkim assisting elderly manStanding Out - photo by Jason Harris and woman

A Problem We Cannot Ignore

While hunger has been steadily decreasing in Oregon, it remains persistently high. That's according to a new USDA report on Food Insecurity in the U.S. Nearly one in seven households (14.6 percent) in Oregon were "food insecure" between 2014-16.

Hunger is expensive for all of us

The 2016 Hunger Report from Bread for the World estimated that hunger and food insecurity contribute $160 billion to America's health bill. We pay through lowered academic and economic productivity, more hunger-related illnesses, and greater reliance on human services and emergency food programs.

Hunger is a public health concern with long-term consequences

There is evidence that food insecurity contributes to obesity and its subsequent health problems, particularly among women. Child food insecurity can result in poorer school achievement and compromised health throughout a child's life, and often includes behavioral issues and social difficulties. Undernourished seniors are 53 percent more likely to report a heart attack, 52 percent more likely to develop asthma and 41 percent more likely to report an experience of congestive heart failure. 

Some experience hunger at higher rates

We know there are other root causes—even deeper and more complexly woven into the root structure of our society—like systemic racism and sexism. 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, LGBTQcommunities and people in rural areas of Oregon.

Ending hunger requires addressing root causes

Emergency food programs have a short-term impact. The most common response to hunger is to feed people immediately. Although important, this does not address the underlying causes of hunger. Additionally, the number of Oregonians who need help continues to grow placing an unreasonable burden on Oregon's food assistance network.

Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon's 2016-18 Strategic Plan

In pursuit of equity and justice, we reaffirm the founding declaration of the Oregon Hunger Task Force that “all persons have the right to be free from hunger” and recommit to work on behalf of those disproportionately denied that right. In developing our 2016-18 Strategic Plan, we heard from dozens of partners, volunteers and people we serve about how to best increase food security over the next two years. The result is a clear set of objectives and a focus on three goals: pursuing equity, building the anti-hunger movement and strengthening the capacity of our organization.

There is a role for eveyone to play

  1. Sign up for our e-news to receive monthly updates and action alerts.
  2. Take action to end hunger by donating, speaking up or volunteering.
  3. Share your story to help change the narrative about hunger.

Reports on Hunger

Additional information about hunger in Oregon and other communities.

Finding Food Security in Portland, Oregon: A Qualitative Study Among SNAP Participants.