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Farmers Ending Hunger

Oregonians are blessed with an abundance of high-quality food. But not all Oregonians have access to that bounty. Now Oregon farmers are working together to provide food for the state's hungriest citizens. Through an organization called Farmers Ending Hunger, local growers donate a portion of their farm production for distribution through emergency food banks in Oregon and southwest Washington.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture used to contribute as much as 50 percent of the food donated to the Oregon Food Bank network. Now that has dropped to about 10 percent, according to John Burt, executive director of Farmers Ending Hunger. "Oregon's food and agriculture industries have taken up the challenge to make up the difference."

For example, Threemile Canyon Farms in Morrow County donated beef for making 9,500 pounds of hamburger each month for a year for food bank boxes. In September, more than 50 Oregon wheat growers contributed wheat for 225,000 pounds of pancake mix. Growers and processors have provided hundreds of thousands of pounds of fresh and frozen vegetables for distribution, including over a half million pounds of potatoes donated by Amstad Produce, Inc. of Sherwood.

Requests for emergency food went up as much as 40 percent in some parts of Oregon in the last half of 2008, according to the Oregon Food Bank. Now a significant source of emergency food for the needy is from harvests that are planned and produced by Farmers Ending Hunger.

Source

Oregon's Agricultural Progress. OSU Extension and Experiment Station Communications (EESC).

Authored by: Peg Herring, OSU Extension and Experiment Station Communications