MEDFORD, Ore. – Oregon is seeing a slight improvement in the number of people needing food assistance state-wide, but food pantries in Jackson County say it’s not a trend in our area.
The Salvation Army had a record high number of people in August needing food help, but statewide, numbers seem to be improving because of the increased access to SNAP, what used to be called food stamps.
About 13.6% of households in Oregon – more than 491,000 Oregonians – suffered food insecurity in 2009-2011; that’s a tenth of a percentage point improved over the previous 2 years. Those who work with food pantries say donations by both the private and public sectors has helped fight hunger on all fronts.
Across the country, food stamp use reached a record 46.7 million people in June, 3.3% higher than a year ago. Food stamp spending has more than doubled in four years to a record $75.7 billion in the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2011.