11 Jun – Food Security Coalition Update
1 in 3 people in the Columbia River Gorge worry about where their next meal will come from. About 90% of the food grown in the Gorge is exported, while 98% of the food consumed is imported. Our food system needs fixing, and we need your help.
The Food Security Coalition, newly formed in 2016, is a network of over 35 organizations and agencies from all sectors working to improve food access for all. We believe in a multi-pronged approach.
Who’s at the table? Tribal leaders, social service providers, economically disadvantaged food insecure residents, healthcare professionals, farmers, distributors, food bank leaders, staff from every hospital and health department in the Gorge and orchardists.
RECENT COALITION VICTORIES:
- Collaboration between tribal members, the Department of Human Services and the Oregon Food Bank led to the beginning of monthly deliveries of produce and food to Celilo Village;
- The town of Lyle started a “backpack program” to provide food insecure youth with food on the weekends;
- Gorge Grown Food Network (GGFN) organized farmers and gleaners to donate hundreds of pounds of produce regularly to area food banks;
- Orchard View Farms donated14,000 pounds of cherries per week to the Oregon Food Bank and other food distributors in 2016;
- Klickitat is now hosting a regular meal for seniors; Wahtonka Community School in The Dalles is opening a food pantry in September;
- The City of The Dalles is funding the “Power of Produce” program to inspire youth to come to the farmers market with $2 tokens for fresh fruits or vegetables;
- Oregon State University staff organized a meeting to link community garden coordinators in Oregon and Washington; 35 people attended;
- A low-income, Veggie Rx recipient joined the Food Security Coalition and is now spearheading the Restaurant Working Group. She inspired restaurant owners to donate funding to help support other low-income residents participate in Coalition meetings;
- Sherman County now has Veggie Rx thanks to the Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Organization (EOCCO) Local Community Advisory Committee (LCAC). This provides food insecure residents of Sherman County with fresh produce;
- PacificSource CCO Community Solutions donated funding through “flexible services” for Veggie Rx for Oregon Health Plan clients through several local clinics.
Gorge Grown Food Network serves as the backbone organization in the Coalition’s ongoing, collaborative work and we need your support to keep this momentum going.
Our goals is to raise $10,000. Please consider a donation today, or better yet, a monthly contribution to sustain our work. Growing a local food system truly takes a village.
“Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.” —World Food Summit