Many of us think of summer as a time for enjoying barbecued burgers, ice cream cones and farm-fresh produce. Visit one of Oregon's 90 farmers markets and experience fresh and flavorful locally grown fruits, vegetables, plants, hazelnuts, eggs and locally made cheeses. Find the market nearest you on this map. The start of summer is also a great time to make a grilled meal to enjoy with the family. A grilled meal can be healthy, low cost, plus packed with flavor. Try these grilling tips from Food Hero.
But, while many families are enjoying the bounty of Oregon, other families are struggling with hunger. According to Oregon Food Bank, hunger is at an all-time high. In an average month, an estimated 270,000 people in Oregon and Clark County, Washington ate meals from emergency food boxes during the past year. Of those, almost 92,000 were children.
The need for food and donations increases when children have less access to school breakfast and lunch. The Summer Meals Program
is available to all children ages 18 and younger regardless of family income, but the need for food is still great.
Oregon farmers and ranchers help put food on the plate for many of the state’s most vulnerable citizens; donations from organizations like Farmers Ending Hunger
result in millions of pounds of food making it to hungry homes.
Oregon and Washington dairy farmers have partnered with Fred Meyer stores, the Oregon Food Bank Network and the respective Departments of Agriculture to launch the Northwest Farmers Fighting Hunger campaign
, running throughout June Dairy Month. Donations will help get more nutrient-rich foods, like milk, cheese and yogurt into emergency food boxes.
Many people don’t know that most food bank clients have access to less than one gallon of milk per person per year. That is only 1.4 pounds of dairy or about 4 cups of milk per year for each client. National food bank research indicates that milk is among the top five preferred foods among food bank clients.
You can help! All month we’ll be collecting food and cash donations. A little does a lot: For every $10 donated, your local food bank can distribute enough food to provide 35 meals.
Good nutrition is vital to healthy growth and development and often families have to resort to less nutritious food to stretch their dollars. Food and funds raised during June Dairy Month will help provide thousands of families with the right foods to keep them strong, healthy and full of energy.
Together, we can #fightsummerhunger!