Food to Schools
Oregon has one of the highest rates of childhood hunger in the nation. In 2009, in response to this hunger crisis, Urban Gleaners launched our Food to Schools program. Currently, we serve 23 schools identified by Multnomah County’s Childhood Hunger Coalition as having 75.1-95.3% of elementary school children on free or reduced lunch rates (serving 800 students and their families, totaling 3200 individuals). Some of our schools are in partnership with SUN pantries (Schools Uniting Neighborhoods). We provide each of the schools with weekly deliveries of up to 500 pounds of fresh food, with an emphasis on whole grain breads, dairy products and organic fresh produce so vital to the health and development of young children.
In 2010, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that those children who are hungry are:
– More likely to require hospitalization and suffer from chronic health conditions.
– Behind in academic development, often exhibiting behavior problems, truancy, and tardiness.
– More likely to have had thoughts of death, to have had the desire to die, and to have attempted suicide.
In the summer months, we continue our services through Summer Free Farmers Markets held at 12 sites within the attendance areas of our Food to Schools program.