Food industry helps the hungry

| Print |  Email
Monday, December 01, 2008

STATEWIDE Job loss, higher food costs and lower wages are forcing more and more Oregonians to turn to food banks for help. According to Oregon Food Bank spokesman Mike Moran, demand has gone up 5% across the state, with areas such as Ontario and some coastal communities seeing demand spike 20% or more.

On average, 200,000 people per month are receiving emergency food boxes from food banks in Oregon and Clark County, Wash. “There aren’t a lot of reasons to believe the need will go down,” says Moran.

With such a surge in demand, donations from the food industry, which account for about 60% of what the food bank receives, take on more urgency. So far this year, Moran reports industry donations are up over last year, after a 10% to 15% drop from previous years.

New participation from some key businesses has helped. Moran says that Amy’s Kitchen in Medford and national wholesale distributor United Natural Foods have become great new contributors, along with progress that the nonprofit Farmers Ending Hunger (FEH) has made.

Last year, FEH donated 800,000 pounds in commodities and this year that should grow to more than 1.5 million pounds, according to executive director John Burt. FEH  has a dozen farmers contributing and this year several more key donors were secured, says Burt.

Three Mile Canyon in Boardman, Oregon’s largest dairy operation, is now donating 25 cows per month, which are then processed into ground beef by Walt’s Wholesale Meats in Washington State. Burt figures that’s enough to make about 440,000 hamburgers per year.

Another new program launched this year now accepts donations of small quantities of wheat, which has boosted the overall contribution.

Next for FEH are plans to tap the giving potential of growers in the Willamette Valley, along with launching a new public awareness campaign, because as significant as the food industry’s contribution is, it isn’t enough.                

ROBIN DOUSSARD


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

More Articles

7 industry trends of 2015

The Latest
Friday, January 09, 2015
covertrends15-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Industry groups identify top trends for 2015.


Read more...

Corner Office: Sheree Arntson

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

Checking in with the managing director of Arnerich Massena.


Read more...

5 schools helping students crack code

The Latest
Thursday, January 29, 2015
codeduthumbnailBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

As the costs of college mount, and as employer demand for software developers soars, coding schools and classes are popping up everywhere.


Read more...

Ski traffic

News
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
0121-skiway-thumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

A place-based multimodal transportation plan for Mt. Hood is long overdue.


Read more...

Tackling the CEO-worker pay gap

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014
BY OREGON BUSINESS STAFF

An SEC rule targets the disparity between executive and employee compensation, reigniting a long-standing debate about corporate social responsibility.


Read more...

Raising the Stakes

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

The 2014 Bend Venture Conference set a record for the most cash, investments and prizes awarded at an angel conference in the Pacific Northwest. Investments in the six winning companies exceeded $1 million. The 11th annual conference was hosted by Economic Development of Central Oregon.


Read more...

Political theater

News
Wednesday, January 07, 2015
0107-orbizplansum14-thumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

The Oregon Business Plan Leadership Summit drew more than 1,000 people to the Oregon Convention Center yesterday.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS