everyone deserves good food
Our Food System
HDFFA is invested in a just and equitable food system where people have access to quality fresh food regardless of their income level. We support a sustainable food system where our food 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.
HDFFA recognizes that many food assistance policies were created with inequities due in large part to historical and current systemic injustices. Food insecurity rates continue to be higher among Black, Native American, and Hispanic households, as well as households with children headed by a single woman (Oregon Hunger Task Force).
Improving food Security
We strengthen the ties betwen traditional food security efforts (food bank) and building healthy food systems (farm to plate) We purchase food directly from local farmers for Food Access programs, provide educational materials about how to shop, prep and cook with local and fresh foods, remove transportation barriers, and 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.
- Purchased $85,623 worth of food from local farmers for our VeggieRx program.
- Provided 540 food insecure residents with food and education from a Registered Dietician.
- Partnered with 50+ health care and non-profit partners to provide VeggieRx in Bend, Redmond and Prineville.
- Diverted 100,000+ lbs. of excess food from farmers and gardeners to the NeighborImpact Food Bank through Grow & Give, which is the equivalent of 86,700+ meals (1.2lbs food = 1 meal; USDA).
- Paid farmers $23,154 for their donations to Grow & Give thanks to grants from the NW Farm Credit Services, Deschutes County, Central Oregon Health Council, Oregon Community Foundation, Whole Cities Foundation, and the USDA’s Community Food Project.
What You Can Do / Resources
Join our Food Security Advisory Committee!
We believe that individuals participating in our programs and community members interested in improving food security and farm and ranch viability should have the opportunity to provide feedback and become leaders in our work. With these values in mind, we invite community members to participate in our Agricultural and Food Security Advisory Committees and/or the Board of Directors to help inform our current work, and to build the leadership capacity for the future of farming, ranching, and food access in Central Oregon.
Purpose: The purpose of the Food Security Advisory Committee (FSAC) is to provide input on HDFFA food access programs and specific projects, and to help guide our efforts to create equity in food access – access for everyone regardless of income – in Central Oregon. The committee will be composed of volunteers from the Central Oregon community, including program beneficiaries, food security organizations, and HDFFA board and staff.
Committee members are compensated for their time and can be compensated for childcare during meetings. For more information contact Rachel Levy; firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-390-3572
Read/Follow/Elevate voices: Pay attention to leaders in this movement and share their voices:
- Be informed: follow us (Instagram, Facebook) and others on social media for up-to-date news and advocacy alerts
- Volunteer! Give your time to pack Fresh Harvest Kits, collect donated food, and more!
- Donate! financially support our Food Access programs or donate excess food from your summer garden
- COVID-19 Financial Assistance: Latino Community Association
- Food and financial support: NeighborImpact
- Resources for food access: Oregon Hunger
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 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.
- Nearly 16 million children go to bed hungry, that’s 33% of Black, 25% Latino, and 16% white children who experience food insecurity.
- >30 million people live in places that lack access to healthy food, including over 8% of rural families living 10 miles or more from a grocery store, a concern highest among Native American populations.
- 1 in 6 people work in the food system from the farm to kitchen and far too many take home poverty-level wages. Those mostly likely to earn minimum or sub-minimum wages as low as $2.13/hour are women, Black, or Latinx.
The Reality for Central Oregonians
- Between fifteen to twenty percent (15-20%) of our neighbors experience food insecurity (2020).
- 39,000 people are visiting food pantries for assistance on a monthly basis (2020). Of these, nearly 8,000 do not qualify for federal assistance (SNAP, WIC or other funds) and are reliant on pantries and other community programs for support.
- A tri-county average of 64% of school aged youth rely on free or reduced meals at schools to support their daily diet (2019). With schools closed, families are increasingly reliant on food pantries for support.