Once you understand the situation in Oregon today, Urban Gleaners’ simple approach makes so much sense.
Oregon is one of the hungriest states in the nation and in 2016 the only state to record an increase in childhood hunger. The only food available to many children in Portland is government-subsidized breakfast and lunch—sometimes dinner is a bag of chips, or nothing at all.
Every year, American consumers, businesses, and farms spends $218 billion a year, or 1.3% of GDP, growing, processing, transporting, and disposing food that is never eaten. That’s 52 million tons of food sent to landfill annually, plus another 10 million tons that is discarded or left unharvested on farms. Meanwhile, one in seven Americans is food insecure.
There is so much great, healthy food in our community! With your support and a little work, we can feed hungry families and make the whole community healthier. Here is what we are doing right now to help solve these issues.
Food To Schools
Urban Gleaners is the only food rescue organization in the U.S. that distributes directly to kids. In 2009, we began our Food to Schools program, delivering food directly to the children who need it most. We provide our schools with onsite deliveries of fresh produce, dairy products, whole-grain breads, read-to-eat meals, and treats—because all children deserve wholesome nutrition and some fun food to brighten their days.
Our Mobile Markets are open to anyone who needs food, no questions asked. We have 15 sites throughout the Portland area, located in apartment complexes and community centers. For families who cannot access our school based pantries or those living in food deserts in Multnomah County, Urban Gleaners Mobile Markets brings free, fresh food to low-income housing complexes and parks. These markets are open to anyone who needs food.
Summer Free Farmers Markets
During the summer, we partner with Portland Parks & Rec, bringing fresh food to five parks that also host summer meals for kids.
We partner directly with these community partners to get food to vulnerable Portlanders: Care Oregon, Home Forward, Hacienda CDC, Rose CDC, Human Solutions, NW Housing Alternatives, Rose Haven, Volunteers of America, p:ear, Janus Youth.