Imagine sitting down to your favorite meal. Maybe it includes a piece of juicy chicken, a helping of delicately seasoned rice and a colorful medley of roasted vegetables. Through the generosity of Oregon state employees, meals like this have been provided to thousands of hungry men, women and children for 31 years. This year, Stop Hunger is the key message for the annual Governor’s State Employees Food Drive which runs the entire month of February.
It’s more than just bringing in a few cans of green beans or signing up for a payroll deduction. Employee groups from around Oregon challenge each other to see who can raise the most money and bring in the greatest number of pounds. Some groups raise funds through bake sales and silent auctions, others host basketball tournaments and music festivals. No matter what the event, they share the same goal – to help those in need.
The financial contributions from state employees is needed more this year than ever. In November 2013, thousands of Oregonians saw a decrease in their monthly food budget due to cuts in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps). But the cuts to SNAP are not over. Our neighbors, friends and coworkers who struggle to put food on the table will face another decrease in benefits with congress’ recent passage of the farm bill.
All food and funds donated during the Governor’s State Employees Food Drive support the Oregon Food Bank Network. Donations stay in the community where they were collected to help local families and individuals in need. A celebration of the results and announcement of the winning groups will take place in April.
What is the Oregon Food Bank Network?
The Oregon Food Bank Network is a statewide coalition of 21 regional food banks. Oregon Food Bank leads statewide efforts to increase resources for hungry families and to eliminate the root causes of hunger through advocacy, nutrition education, garden education, and helping communities strengthen local food systems.