Friday, December 23, 2022

Feel Good Friday - Oregon Food Bank

I'm in Oregon for Christmas and wanted to highlight a local organization in today's Feel Good Friday, the Oregon Food Bank.

Founded in 1988, the Oregon Food Bank (OFB) is a network made up of 21 regional food banks that manage logistics and distribute food and services to more than 1,400 sites where anyone can get free food. Their mission is “to eliminate hunger and its root causes… because no one should be hungry.”

As they explain on their website, nearly 1 in 5 Oregonians experienced income and job loss in recent years and the result was an unprecedented need for emergency food assistance throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington. OFB served nearly 1.7 million people in 2020 and over 1.2 million in 2021. Locations where people can pick up free food are community based and accessible to all, and many also help people connect with additional services, such as nutrition support and affordable health insurance.

The most recent numbers listed In the 2022 Impact Report are impressive: 

  • 12,273 volunteer shifts and actions to help end hunger and its root causes
  • 58% of all food distributed as fresh or frozen produce, dairy and protein
  • 44.4 million meals shared across the OFB network

In addition to food distribution, the Policy Leadership Council engaged in over 3,500 actions to advance anti-hunger policy and systems change. Recent victories include: $87 million invested in the OFB emergency food assistance network, $400 million invested in affordable housing and a law providing overtime protections for farmworkers.

Numbers tell one part of the story, here’s another. This 2-minute video gives you a peak into one of the warehouses and lets you hear a forklift operator explain what motivates him about the work he and OFB are doing.

While you may not be able to move pallets of canned goods around a warehouse, there are many other ways you can support the Oregon Food Bank this holiday season. Locals can volunteer their time and all of us can make a donation and amplify the OFB message on social media. Follow them on their Facebook page and also on Twitter and Instagram @oregonfoodbank.

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