Mission: To eliminate hunger and its root causes. . . Because no one should be hungry.
Programs: Oregon food bank (ofb) is the hub of the statewide oregon food bank network. Its core work is to secure, warehouse and distribute food to 17 independent regional food banks and ofb's four branches throughout oregon and in clark county, wa. From the regional food banks and ofb branches, the food is then distributed to clients through over 977 partner agencies that represent food pantries, meal sites, shelters, and other programs that offer assistance to low-income individuals and families. Additionally, the school pantry program works to ensure that children and their families have regular access to fresh and nutritious food. Throughout all of oregon and in clark county, wa, oregon food bank distributed 47. 5 million pounds of food during the fiscal year ending june 30, 2015.
to address the root causes of hunger, ofb runs several programs to support client self-sufficiency and community building. These programs include: nutrition education, providing cooking skills and nutrition information; learning gardens, providing basic gardening and food growing skills; community food systems, providing community food assessments and the innovative feast (food, education, agriculture, solutions, together) program; advocacy, providing public policy solutions at the local, state and federal levels, and the screen and intervene program, a cutting edge program to screen for food insecurity during regular medical visits.
I love volunteering for Oregon Food Bank. I have gone with school groups and with my children, and here's what I love about it:
* It's easy. A very personable coordinator explains what the task for the day is (measuring rice, re-labeling product packaging, sorting potatoes), and the volunteers get right to work. It is very organized and the tasks are simple.
* I feel very productive. I've been in other situations where the volunteers are standing around, looking for something to do next -- and it can make me question how much I'm really helping.
* It's fun! Each table of volunteers figures out the best way to work together and gets into the groove. Good music is playing, and it's fun to chat with the other volunteers while you work.
* It's great for kids. It is amazing how hard these kids work! And they often get into little competitions to see who can pack the most food. I also like that it reminds them that there are so many less fortunate people, and that they can help.
* I FEEL LIKE I'M MAKING AN IMPACT. At the end of the shift, the coordinator tells us how many pounds of food we've packaged and how many people it will feed. I'm always stunned to hear how many people in Oregon are food insecure, and it feels good volunteer for an organization who's mission is to end hunger.