Food Security

Food Security

Food security is defined by HDFFA as the state of having reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, culturally preferred, nutritious food that is sustainably produced in Central Oregon.  To improve food security, HDFFA invests in a just and equitable food system by supporting food that is produced in ways that protect the health of the land, those who work it, and the families and communities who consume its bounty, and where anyone can access this food.

We recognize that many food assistance policies were created with inequities due in large part to historical and current systemic injustices. These inequities continue to operate within our food system and adversely affect levels of food insecurity, specifically among Black, Native American, and Hispanic households, as well as households with children headed by a single woman (Oregon Hunger Task Force).


  • 30 million people lack access to healthy food, including 8% of rural families living 10 miles+ from a grocery store, a concern highest among Native American populations.

  • 1 in 6 people work in the food system with many having poverty-level wages.

  • Every day nearly 16 million children go to bed hungry; with 33% of Black, 25% Latino, and 16% of white children experiencing food insecurity on a daily basis.

The Reality for Central Oregonians

In 2021, it was projected that 13.6% or 35,075 people will experience food insecurity and only 43% qualify for federal assistance (SNAP, WIC, or other funds); this means that nearly 19,993 people who are food insecure are not receiving federal assistance.  On average, 44% of school-aged youth rely on free or reduced meals at schools to support their daily diet.  County-level data varies between each county (Feeding America)

  • Crook – 10.2% of residents experience food insecurity
  • Deschutes – 8.4% of residents experience food insecurity
  • Jefferson – 12% of residents experience food insecurity

Improving food Security

We strengthen the ties between traditional food security efforts (food bank) and building healthy food systems (farm to plate) by purchasing food directly from local farmer Partners for our Food Access programs.  We provide educational materials about how to shop, prepare, cook and store local and fresh foods, and reduce transportation barriers by meeting people where they are or providing financial support. We partner with regional organizations to improve access for residents that have been marginalized due to systems and policies that do not adequately meet their needs.


Food Access Terms

These working definitions help guide our everyday work in running our Food Access programs, building community relationships, and planning for future projects.

Food justice is a view of the food systems that sees healthy food as a basic human right and addresses structural barriers to eliminating disparities and inequities. From our friends at Food Share: “food justice means working to dismantle systemic forms of oppression that exist in our food system and in our food movement.”

Food equity is the expansive concept that all people have the ability and opportunity to grow and to consume healthful, affordable, and culturally significant foods (University at Buffalo)

Food security is access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food that is produced locally, sustainably, and in a way that positively benefits local economies.

National and Oregon-based Education, Policy, and Food Access Resources


Abigail Gustke
Community Food Access Manager
(541) 610-6046


Emily Ralston
Rural Food Security Coordinator
(541) 390-3246

Contact Us

We're not around right now, but we would love to hear from you. Team HDFFA

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