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Food Ethics Conference
March 15-16, 2013
REGISTER ONLINE at www.emoregon.org
Making Peace with the Land
Shaping Food Ethics
Lecture and Discussion featuring
Dr. Norman Wirzba
Friday, March 15
Schlatter Prayer Chapel
Warner Pacific College,
2219 SE 68th, Portland
Keynotes on Reconciling Land and Community and Oregon Agriculture Challenges and Emerging Alternatives
Saturday, March 16
900 State St., Salem
Presented by Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon’s Interfaith Food and Farm Partnership
Co-sponsored by World Hunger Program of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America,Presbyterian Hunger Program, Willamette University Office of the Chaplains, and Warner Pacific College (Friday event)
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FAITH COALITION PREPARES OREGONIANS TO FIGHT FOR THE HUNGRY
One in five Oregonians are hungry. Count them: One..Two..Three..Four..HUNGRY!
Eighteen percent of all Oregonians live in poverty. That’s equal to 662,283 Oregonians, a number bigger than the populations of Salem, Eugene, Medford, Gresham, Beaverton and Bend, combined.
OFRAH believes that the safety net cushions the fall of the poor and hungry. Oregon has seen dramatic increases in poverty levels but because of the safety net Oregon has not seen the same increases in hunger. But when 1 in 5 Oregonians are hungry then we know that the safety net has holes.
Hunger is one huge problem made up of many issues. Hunger exists because of many reasons. A panel of local hunger experts briefly addressed a few pertinent issues – the holes in the safety net –that are the foundation of their 2013 legislative agendas:
Robin Stephenson of Bread for the World stressed that federal programs for poor and hungry people have been under attack. Proposed cuts to the Earned Income Tax Credit, food stamps, and WIC will increase the number of hungry people here in Oregon.
Patti Whitney-Wise, executive director at Partners for a Hunger Free Oregon, noted that Oregon is one of the few states that taxes incomes below the poverty level. Whitney-Wise explained that the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) helps families bridge the gap between poverty and eking by, by supplementing below-poverty-level incomes and allowing families to afford basic necessities of food and rent.
Oregon Food Bank’s state policy expert, Phillip Kennedy-Wong, pointed out that while the state food bank network distributed over 1 million emergency boxes last year, cuts to The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) in the Farm Bill have depleted their resources. An OFB legislative priority is the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program that provides cash assistance to low-income families with children while they strive to become self-sufficient. The program’s goal is to reduce the number of families living in poverty, through employment and community resources. Governor Kitzhaber proposes to reduce the lifetime limit from five years to three.
Howard Kenyon, program manager of the Northeast Emergency Food Program, shared his observations of the effect hunger has on the people who come to his pantry. He told stories of people he knew who struggled to find work and survive month to month on meager resources.
The day concluded with breakout sessions on Advocacy 101, Using Personal Stories for Effectiveness, and The Effect of Federal Policy on Oregon. Each session provided participants with ways to become involved and advocate for change…because we are Hungry for Change!
What You Can Do:
Review the panelists’ legislative priorities for 2013.
Church groups see brief window for anti-hunger effort January 16, 2013Posted by ofrah in Uncategorized.
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As Congress and the Oregon Legislature prepare to trim government budgets, anti-hunger advocates have begun a 60-day lobbying push. Faith groups stand among those saying cuts should not hurt people who are already poor and scrambling for food.
This message was the focus at a Jan. 12 “Hungry for Change” seminar jointly organized by Catholic Charities, Bread for the World, the Presbyterian Church and the Oregon Center for Christian Voices. Those are some of the member organizations of a coalition called the Oregon Faith Roundtable Against Hunger.
Setting a Foundation for Advocacy in Communities January 16, 2013Posted by ofrah in Uncategorized.
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Through the local anti-hunger coalition Oregon Faith Roundtable Against Hunger(OFRAH), of which Bread for the World is a member, Bread staff and the regional Bread Team partnered with Catholic Charities and other Portland-area advocacy and service groups to put on the event “Hungry for Change.” The OFRAH program examined the state of hunger in Oregon and highlighted legislative opportunities at both the state and federal level. Advocate voices are critically needed, especially in the coming year as fiscal belt-tightening will likely target programs for poor and hungry people.
Covenant of Hope: A Faithful Response to Family Homelessness February 9, 2012Posted by ofrah in Uncategorized.
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Lenten Materials on Hunger for your Congregation February 3, 2012Posted by ofrah in Uncategorized.
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OFRAH Statewide Conveners John Elizalde and Norene Goplen have prepared some materials on hunger for congregations to use during the Lenten Season. The materials include a Power Point presentation and several associated documents. The materials are designed to be used as part of four consecutive weeks of education on hunger. They can also be used individually to meet the needs for one or two sessions.
All of the documents are linked below.
For more information, contact John or Norene at 503-775-6830.
“Food Stamped” January 23, 2012Posted by ofrah in Uncategorized.
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OFRAH is a co-sponsor of this important event.
And it is FREE!
Download a pdf of this event flyer – foodstamped_flyer (2)
Farm Bill: Why Does OFRAH Care? January 11, 2012Posted by ofrah in Uncategorized.
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Why the Farm Bill Matters!
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JULY: ENDING POVERTY THROUGH RELATIONSHIPS AND COMMUNITY
Paul Schroeder, the Coordinator of Faith-Based Resources for JOIN, presented the New City Initiative. New City Initiative began as CUSINA; Paul Schroeder is its founder, CUSINA began in 2007 as a unique partnership between Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Portland, Oregon, and JOIN. The CUSINA concept was to take the “genius” of the Holy Trinity Community—its rich experience and heritage of traditional Greek cuisine—and turn this into an opportunity to engage and create a new kind of supportive community with people transitioning out of homelessness. The result: a six-week series of Greek cooking classes taught by six local Greek restaurateurs. Its fundamental purpose is to build relationships and community.
AUGUST: ENDING HUNGER BEFORE IT BEGINS
The Oregon Hunger Task Force and Partners for a Hungry Free Oregon presented its 5-Year Plan “Ending Hunger Before it Begins: Oregon’s Call to Action.” Oregon is the 2nd hungriest and food insecure state: 1 in 5 Oregonians rely on SNAP (food stamps). 48.6% of students are eligible for free school meals. 240,000 emergency food boxes are issued each month.The Oregon Hunger Task Force set three goals with specific recommendations for each:
- Increase the economic stability for people, communities, and the state
- Cultivate a strong regional food system in Oregon
- Improve the food assistance safety net (including school community gardens)
SEPTEMBER: 30 WAYS TO FIGHT HUNGER IN 30 DAYS
Sarah Flynn of Oregon Food Bank West presented opportunities for advocacy and community involvement through Hunger Action Month, and becoming a Community Food Champion. Washington County has one of the highest rates of food insecurity in the state—demand for emergency food boxes has increased 28%–OFB’s much larger facility is necessary to fill a need. The meeting included a tour of the new Oregon Food Bank Facility with a Learning Garden and the Nutrition Kitchen.
OCTOBER: FOOD: LOCAL CHALLENGES & GLOBAL ISSUES
Emily Harris, host of Oregon Public Broadcasting’s “Think Out Loud” moderated a panel discussion on the complexities of buying local, supporting local organic food and the effects of the global economy.
JANUARY: MOM AND DAD, CAN YOU SPARE 700 MILLION DOLLARS?
OFRAH presented “Healthy Elders, Healthy Communities,” its plan to engage the faith community in encouraging seniors in Oregon to enroll in SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps). Through this plan OFRAH engages denominations and faith communities to encourage their congregations to share key information. Faith communities have an important reach to senior populations, both through their members and through their relationships with others in their community.
Two-thirds of Oregon seniors eligible for SNAP fail to take advantage of this federal program. That’s $700 million of their tax dollars that we left on the table. Yet many seniors are financially constrained—the economy has wrecked many a carefully constructed retirement strategy.
Oregon ranks third in the nation for hunger or Very Low Food Security. In our country, hunger is often a hidden problem. SNAP is a program that helps people eat right when money is tight; with SNAP, nutritional and healthy food within reach of low-income households
FEBRUARY: WE ARE IN THE BUSINESS OF HOPE
Oregon ranks third in the nation for hunger or Very Low Food Security. We were recently second but another state got worse; for the hungry in Oregon, nothing changed. But something must change and Partners for a Hungry-Free Oregon presented its 2011 State Legislative Agenda while there was an opportunity for change while the State Legislature in session.
The vision for the Partners for a Hungry-Free Oregon 2011 State Legislative Agenda is “an Oregon where all children, families and individuals have the opportunity to be stable, hunger-free and healthy, with a foundation in place to succeed in school, work and life. One goal is to put more money in the pockets of the poor and low-income so they can buy food themselves.
MARCH: EVERYONE DOES BETTER WHEN EVERYONE DOES BETTER
Because of a shortfall of 3.6 billion dollars, Oregon has a small pie of a budget where everyone must receive a smaller slice of the pie. Sometimes when there are not even enough small slices for everyone to share we must ensure that the poor and vulnerable are fed first. But they have a smaller voice, or no voice at all, and it’s difficult to be heard.
When business and larger interests are mobilized and using a loud voice, the rest of us must be spiritually resolved to speak for those who are hungry, homeless, worried about their health.
People of faith must advocate for a slice of the pie before nothing is left. We take the principles from our traditions, use our faith-based lens, rely on stories from our congregations, those we know, those we serve, and we speak for them. Presented by Kevin Finney of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon
APRIL: WHO GET’S HURT?
Chuck Sheketoff, Executive Director for the Oregon Center for Public Policy presented on “Addressing Poverty at the State Level.” Oregon’s revenue shortfall today is $3.6 billion dollars. Without a discussion on new revenue sources, the Oregon State Legislature looks to reduce the projected deficit through eliminating some tax credits and reducing a lot of tax expenditures. Who gets hurt?
55,000 dependent children in Oregon receive help from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).” $506 is the maximum cash assistance a family of three that qualifies would receive each month.
Under proposed legislation, a single parent would have 18 months to find a job, without job training programs, before the TANF limit expired. Families currently have a 60-month lifetime limit to receive TANF, which includes job training.
People of faith must advocate for a slice of the pie before nothing is left.
2011 HUNGER CONFERENCE A GREAT SUCCESS! April 26, 2011Posted by ofrah in Uncategorized.
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On May 11, OFRAH sponsored its annual Hunger Conference at St. Pius Catholic Church. The theme this year was “Fresh Food for Thought: Critical Issues in Low -Income Nutrition.” Trudy Toliver, Executive Director of the Portland Farmers Market (pictured at left) was the keynote speaker, presenting a talk entitled “Whole Food Fosters Whole People.”
Also featured at the conference was a panel presentation including Jenny Holmes, Director of Environmental Ministries, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon; Leslie Pohl-Kosbau, Founder and Director of Portland’s Community Gardens Program; Alejandro Tecum, Program Director, Adelante Agricultura sustainable farming project of Adelante Mujeres; Claudia Maria Vargas, Professor of Public Administration, Center for Public Service, Mark O. Hatfield School of Government, Portland State University; and Shawn DeCarlo, Metro Services Manager, Oregon Food Bank.
The OFRAH Portland Metro Conveners were the organizers of the event, headed by Matt Cato and including Nancy Miller, Matt Newell-Ching, Bob Raes, Janet Raes, and Connie Brenner. About 60 people attended.