Portland, September 22nd, 2013. Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon helped kick off Bon Appétit Presents: Feast Portland. Activist are hoping the celebration of Oregon’s agricultural bounty will help them feed more hungry people. In 2012, Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon received $23,000 of the $46,000 Feast raised for Oregon hunger relief. Nonprofits received 50% of the net benefits from Feast and were happy to continue the partnership this fall. One of the free events took place in Director’s Park where people sampled surf-and-turf from Whole Foods meat and seafood partners.
Ticket sales from the food festival supported both Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon and the national nonprofit, Share Our Strength. Feast Portland coincides with No Kid Hungry month in September, promoted by Share Our Strength to raise awareness of hunger across the country. As kids head back to school, a staggering 285,591 children (53 percent of all students in Oregon) are counting on free and reduced price meals to make it through the school day. Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon helps connect kids to the healthy food they need to learn and grow. “Kids are our future, and they need a healthy start in life to be successful as adults,” said Patti Whitney-Wise, executive director of Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon. “When children get enough to eat, they can concentrate in school instead of being distracted by how hungry they feel. We see this event as a catalyst for engaging the food industry and Oregonians in creating a better future for our kids.”
In Oregon, one in four children is at risk for hunger, one of the highest rates of child food insecurity in the nation. The consequences of child hunger are long-term, interfering with a child’s ability to learn, earn and thrive. More than half (53%) of Oregon’s students (K-12) are eligible for free or reduced price school meals, reflecting a high need in many communities.
“Hunger is a serious problem, but it can be solved,” said Whitney-Wise. “Private and public partnerships make all the difference, such as the Feast Portland event. We are fortunate to have a plan in our state, Ending Hunger Before it Begins. I encourage all Oregonians to help reverse this devastating trend. Together we will have a greater impact.”