BEND, Ore. - Working together to provide nutritious food for the hungry is its only mission! Last week, the Hunger Prevention Coalition of Central Oregon ("HPC") proudly disbursed another $13,500 to local partner agencies who serve thousands of meals and donate food boxes to needy families, elderly, disabled, homeless and unemployed Central Oregonians.
During the 2012 f HPC gave over $80,000 to its local partner agencies. Since its inception in 2002, the "Help Fill Empty Plates" program has given over $488,000 to organizations throughout Central Oregon dedicated to serving and feeding the hungry. Current agency recipients include Bethlehem Inn, Community of Christ Church, Family Kitchen, Holy Trinity Care and Share, LaPine Community Kitchen, Oasis Soup Kitchen, Salvation Army - Bend, Saving Grace, St. Vincent de Paul-Bend, Prineville and LaPine, and The Giving Plate.
The need is greater than ever in our community and beyond. For one in six people in the United States, hunger is a reality. Many people believe that the problems associated with hunger are confined to small pockets of society, certain areas of the country, or certain neighborhoods, but the reality is much different. These are often hard-working adults, children and seniors who simply cannot make ends meet and are forced to go without food for several meals, or even days.
Statistics on Food Insecurity and Very Low Food Security:
(data source: http://feedingamerica.org):
• In 2011, 50.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households, 33.5 million adults and 16.7 million children.
• In 2011, 14.9 percent of households (17.9 million households) were food insecure.
• In 2011, 5.7 percent of households (6.8 million households) experienced very low food security.
• In 2011, households with children reported food insecurity at a significantly higher rate than those without children, 20.6 percent compared to 12.2percent.
• In 2011, households that had higher rates of food insecurity than the national average included households with children (20.6 percent), especially households with children headed by single women (36.8 percent) or single men (24.9 percent), Black non-Hispanic households (25.1 percent) and
Hispanic households (26.2 percent).
• In 2011, 8.8 percent of seniors living alone (1 million households) were food insecure.
• Food insecurity exists in every county in America, ranging from a low of 5 percent in Steele County, ND to a high of 37 percent in Holmes County, MS.
How the program works? Local stores host the "Help Fill Empty Plates" program with placards located at or near the checkout stand of participating stores. They contain coupons that may be purchased in increments of $10, $5 and $2.45. One hundred percent raised through this program goes directly to local food providers and shelters to help individuals and families in need. When you purchase one of these coupons, you are helping to increase nutritious foods in our community.
Participating "Help Fill Empty Plates" stores include Newport Avenue Market, several area Erickson Thriftway stores, Ray's Food Place Markets, Sunriver Country Store, Food 4 Less, Grocery Outlets (Redmond and Prineville), Shop Smart (La Pine), Tumalo Country Store, Jackson's Corner Restaurant, and St. Vincent De Paul Thrift Store. The program seeks to enroll more stores in Central Oregon to support and help HPC with the fight against hunger. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 208-250-7540 for more information or visit www.hungerpc.org
About the Hunger Prevention Coalition of Central Oregon
The Hunger Prevention Coalition of Central Oregon ("HPC") was formed in 2000 by a group of local citizens concerned about the lack of nutritious foods available through local agencies who feed those in need. This group consisted of virtually all the public and private groups involved in addressing hunger in Central Oregon, including agencies that worked with NeighborImpact and the Oregon Food Bank. In 2002, HPC adopted bylaws and elected a Board of Directors, launching the "Help Fill Empty Plates" program to help eliminate hunger in the Central Oregon community. More information: www.hungerpc.org.