Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon is a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to complement and aid the work of the Oregon Hunger Task Force in strengthening Oregon’s families and communities. Here’s an excerpt from their web site, detailing the situation in Oregon.
Hunger is expensive for all of us
A 2007 report (PDF, 1.42 MB) estimated that hunger in Oregon costs $1.2 billion each year. 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. Fetal malnutrition (PDF, 292 KB) can result in poorer overall school achievement and compromised health throughout a child’s life. Undernourished seniors can show symptoms of dementia and are more prone to falling injuries.
Rural communities hit hard
Hunger is a particular concern for rural communities that have limited access to fresh and affordable foods due to geographic isolation and higher transportation costs.
Some experience hunger at higher rates
African-Americans, Latinos, and female-headed single parent families experience food insecurity at higher rates than the national average.
Ending hunger requires addressing root causes
Emergency food programs have short-term impact. The most common response to hunger is to feed people immediately. Although extremely 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.
Oregon’s Call to Action 2010-2015
Ending Hunger Before it Begins: Oregon’s Call to Action is designed to guide Oregon’s collective efforts over the next five years to make sure all Oregonians can put healthy food on their tables every day. Your actions will have a measurable impact.