As the holidays approach, it’s a good time to raise awareness and address hunger in our community. In 2022, an enormous 42% of people in Deschutes County alone reported food insecurity. One organization that is making a difference is The Hunger Prevention Coalition of Central Oregon, a nonprofit agency that raises and distributes funds for nutritious food to outlets and distribution points throughout Central Oregon. We are proud to support their important work in our community.
In addition to raising money for foods like fresh fruits, vegetables and proteins such as meat, milk and eggs for those experiencing food insecurity, the group also works to educate the public about good nutrition, especially for vulnerable populations. The Hunger Prevention Coalition has a unique model in that they raise funds to purchase fresh and perishable foods for groups that are working on the ground in the community, such as the St. Vincent de Paul, Family Kitchen, Care and Share, and many others.
Each year, they choose partners that will use funds to serve anyone in need, and increase the nutritional value of the food they distribute. The grant application period for partner agencies, (which includes nonprofit groups directly addressing hunger) to apply for funds is now open, and ends on October 31.
The Hunger Prevention Coalition is run by volunteers who want to make a difference here in Central Oregon. Those looking to be part of their mission – to ensure funding for nonprofit agencies proven to provide nutritious food for neighbors in need – can check the website for volunteer and donation opportunities. They maintain that the most important thing that people can do is to advocate for fighting hunger, being active in policy making and also sharing their own stories about a personal experience with hunger.
One of the organization’s main fund-raising activities is the “Help Fill Empty Plates” campaign, which you may have seen at your local grocery store or other participating business. Here, you can simply select one of three coupon options upon check-out which will purchase meals for others. The coupons are scanned and the amount simply added to your purchase total. Every dollar of collected donations goes directly to the Hunger Prevention Coalition and shared among its partner agencies.
Check out The Hunger Prevention Coalition’s website for more information and become an advocate for this holiday season, and beyond.