While Oregon is known for its rugged beauty, great outdoors and fabulous food and beverages, it has another distinction. Oregon lags behind much of the nation in reducing its rate of food insecurity. According to the Oregon Center for Public Policy, the rate of food insecurity fell by 11 percent nationally from 2014 to 2016, yet Oregon’s rate remained essentially unchanged. Some 527,000 Oregonians are food insecure, including more than 173,000 children. Here in Lane County, food insecurity rates are among the highest in the state. Not knowing when or where one’s next meal might come from is stressful for adults and kids alike. But the harm caused by food insecurity goes much deeper than hunger.
By Liz Dunne, PeaceHealth