Hunger is decreasing in Oregon, yet is still persistently high. One in five kids in Oregon lives in a household that struggles to afford food, as well as one in six seniors. Despite low unemployment, Oregon’s food insecurity rate has yet to return to pre-recession levels. Disparities remain: renters are eleven times more likely to experience hunger than homeowners. People in rural areas are vulnerable to changes in the economy. Households led by African-Americans, Native Americans, Latinx, and single mothers experience hunger at disproportionately high rates.
A full-time job is often not enough to get out of poverty. Too many Oregonians are forced to make impossible choices between basics like rent, child care, and food.
It doesn’t have to be this way. The Oregon Hunger Task Force makes the following policy recommendations to Oregon’s legislature that–if enacted–will address these disparities and bring us closer to our vision of an Oregon that is hunger-free and thriving.
Student hunger is a significant problem in Oregon’s universities and community colleges. Hunger and food insecurity on campus hinders academic achievement, worsens health outcomes, and threatens economic mobility.
New research from Oregon and across America is shining a spotlight on food insecurity on campuses.
● Hunger on campus is more prevalent than is widely acknowledge and is likely to increase, given trends in higher education, if changes aren’t made.
● Colleges and universities are uniquely positioned to address this issue with local resources, research and student organizing. The current response is uneven.
● Some changes are needed at both the state and federal level to increase access to nutrition assistance (particularly SNAP) and also to address student poverty related to issues of unaffordable tuition, housing and childcare.
The link between hunger and immigration status is well established and has long been an area of concern. Immigrants, refugees, and asylees, particularly those with children, are at higher risk of food insecurity than those born in the U.S.
It has become clear that the political environment surrounding immigration is having a direct and negative impact on the food security of Oregon’s communities. This issue brief outlines three areas of concern in the context of this environment: Immigrants’ Access to Emergency Food, Utilization of Public Benefits, and the Impact on Oregon’s Economy, and issues recommendations for addressing food insecurity within each of these areas of concern for community, local government, and state government leaders.