Survey Shows Bad Economy Increasing Hunger In Oregon

OPB | Sept. 21, 2010 7:37 a.m. | Updated: July 17, 2012 1:07 a.m. | Portland, OR

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A bad economy is driving Oregon’s poor deeper into poverty, and increasing the need for emergency food boxes.  That’s according to a survey released Tuesday.

Every two years, the Oregon Food Bank conducts a survey to better understand why people need emergency food.

Of the thousands who responded to the survey, 70 percent had incomes below the federal poverty level.  That’s $22,000 a year for a family of four.

The survey also found that 31 percent said ‘long-term unemployment’ was the reason they needed help.

Food Bank CEO, Rachel Bristol, says that figure is up dramatically from the last survey.

Rachel Bristol: “In this country we value our independence and the ability to make it on our own. But we also recognize that there are times, when through no fault of our own, we need help. And I think that’s what shines through most of all in the data that we’re presenting today.”

There was some good news: food boxes have grown bigger; they’re more nutritious and more numerous.

Families say the boxes last longer and that they’re getting about four of them a year, instead of three.


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