In 2016, more than 41 million Americans didn’t have enough to eat. In Oregon, over 16% of families were food insecure in recent years. That’s well over half a million Oregonians. Hunger impacts people from all walks of life and from all communities, including yours. You may have personally experienced food insecurity at one time or another, or you may know someone who has. You may not know that your child’s classmate goes to school on an empty stomach. Or that your elderly neighbor is one medical crisis away from hunger. You may never have imagined that your co-worker makes sure their children get enough to eat, but goes hungry themselves.
Oregon State University (OSU) has long been at the forefront combatting hunger in Oregon. For instance, the Veggie RX program allows healthcare and social service providers to offer vouchers for fresh fruits and vegetables to community members experiencing food insecurity. People can then use these vouchers at farmers markets and grocery stores, strengthening the local food economy and food system.
Food insecure families are often forced to focus on stretching their food budgets, forcing them to often make food choices that rely on price rather than nourishment. Food Hero, an OSU program dedicated to providing resources to families looking to maximize their food budget with low-cost, simple healthy recipes, saw nearly 2 million visitors to its website in 2017. Food Hero offers recipes, shopping and cooking tips and video demonstrations in both English and Spanish.
These vital programs, and many others like them, are made possible by funding from Congress. Help us continue to combat hunger in Oregon by supporting OSU here.