There’s something about the holiday season that makes us want to help others. Perhaps its the bell-ringers, the bounty on our own tables, or the spirit of the season that makes us want to share our good fortune with those in need.
Of course, helping to bring joy to those less fortunate during the holidays is a noble thing to do, but hunger doesn’t take the rest of the year off.
Nearly 500,000 Oregonians have limited or uncertain access to the food necessary to lead healthy, active lives, according to the USDA’s latest survey.
In a perfect world, everyone would have access to healthful food throughout the year. Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon is leading the charge to make that dream a reality.
Hunger Affects Us All
It is estimated that the cost of hunger in Oregon is more than $2 billion each year. Those experiencing hunger are less academically and economically productive, more susceptible to illness, and more reliant on social safety nets.
Those without reliable access to food are at higher risk of becoming obese, and lack of adequate nutrition for pregnant mothers may result in offspring with poor immune systems and learning difficulties.
Working Toward a Sustainable Solution
The social programs aimed at providing immediate nourishment to those in need are a necessity, to be sure. But allowing the hungry to continue to rely on these emergency programs does nothing to alleviate the root causes of hunger, and unsustainable levels of stress on our state’s emergency assistance network.
Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon aims to tackle the underlying issues at the core of the hunger epidemic.
Three Big Goals
Their number-one goal is to increase economic stability for people, communities, and the state. People with living-wage jobs are better able to address the immediate needs of their families, and to save up for possible emergencies.
Because they are able to do these things, they are less reliant on public assistance programs, reducing the state’s financial burden, and contributing to it’s economic stability, as well.
Their second goal is to cultivate a strong regional food system in Oregon; one that gives the state’s residents easy, affordable access to local foods. Concentrating on using local resources to meet Oregonians’ nutritional needs bolsters economic development, and offers a solution that is less taxing on the environment.
Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon’s third goal is to improve the food assistance safety net. This support system includes programs such as WIC, SNAP, and emergency food boxes. By improving access to these programs and supporting the emergency food distribution network, PFHO seeks to make nourishing food available to all Oregonians.
Laughing Planet believes in helping out our neighbors, so on December 3rd, we’re donating 10% of all sales at our Belmont, Ecotrust, and Gabriel Park locations to PFHO. We hope you’ll join us in supporting this worthy and necessary cause. If you’d like to contribute to them directly, please click here.
[Photo Credit: oregonhunger]