Hunger in America

Is there really a need for emergency food?

Unfortunately, yes. Experts say that people who don’t know where their next meal is coming from are experiencing “food insecurity.” And tens of millions of Americans face this situation every day.

This isn’t an exaggeration. For 2016, the Economic Research Service at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its most recent report on food insecurity, indicating that 41.2 million people in the United States are living in food insecure households, 10.8 million adults lived in households with very low food security, 6.5 million of whom are children.

With our economy suffering, the demand for food assistance keeps growing.

According to Feeding America, a national organization of food banks, in 2016, 41 million people struggle with hunger in the United States, including 13 million children. In 2015, 5.4 million seniors struggled to afford enough to eat. 12 percent of households (15.6 million households) are estimated to be food insecure. 5 percent of households (6.1 million households) experience very low food security. And households with children reported food insecurity at a significantly higher rate than those without children, 17 percent compared to 11 percent.

Think of it this way: If you’re standing in a line in your community, one of the eight people around you probably hasn’t had enough to eat. And if your child is in a class of 28 people, 6 of their classmates may not be sure where their next meal is coming from. It’s shocking.

Why are so many of our neighbors hungry?

It’s not because there’s a shortage of food. Studies show that America produces twice as much food as we need in order to feed everyone in our country.

So what’s the problem? Poverty.

Many of our neighbors simply can’t afford to buy enough food — even when they’re working. Feeding America reports that at least 1/3 of all American families who get help with food have one or more people working. In Oregon, the number is higher — 46% of food recipients are working. Many of the other recipients have lost their jobs, or simply can’t find work.

The result is heartbreaking: “A growing number of people have to make difficult choices about what to spend their dwindling dollars on.,” Feeding America says:

  • “More than 46% of our clients report having to choose between paying for utilities or heating fuel and food.”
  • “39% said they had to choose between paying for rent or a mortgage and food.”
  • “34% report having to choose between paying for medical bills and food.”
  • And 35% must choose between transportation and food."

There's a silver lining. Hidden in these alarming statistics is one bit of very good news: If 60 million Americans are “food insecure,” then about 250 million Americans are not.

This means that there are plenty of people who can afford to offer a little help. Not everyone, of course.…But more than enough to make a huge difference. You may be one of them.

And that’s what the Portland Food Project is all about.

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2018 Pickup Dates:

  • Saturday, February 10th
  • Saturday, April 14th
  • Saturday, June 9th
  • Saturday, August 11th
  • Saturday, October 13th
  • Saturday, December 8th

Most Needed Items:

Non-Perishable Food

  • Peanut Butter
  • Tuna
  • Cooking Oil
  • Pasta
  • Cereal
  • Hearty Soups
  • Canned Meat
  • Canned Fruit
  • Canned Beans
  • Dried Beans
  • Pinto Beans
  • Canned Corn
  • Masa
  • Brown Rice
  • Long Grain White Rice
  • Plain Stewed Tomatoes
  • Fruit Cocktail
  • Side Dishes
  • Soy Milk
  • Canned Milk
  •  Protein
  • Vegetables
  • Side Dishes (Hamburger Helper, Rice-a-Roni, etc.)

Especially for Seniors

  • Dried Fruits
  • Ready made jell-o & pudding
  • Ensure protein drinks
  • Low-sodium Pull-tab Soups
  • Low-sodium Single-
    Serving Meals
  • Low-sodium Crackers
  • Green Tea (regular and decaf)
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Hard Candies

Non-Food Items

  • Toilet Paper
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Soap