By Kiera Morgan:
The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners proclaimed September as Hunger Action Month after hearing a presentation by Nancy Mitchell and Tonia Storm with Food Share Lincoln County. Hunger and poverty issues are a big concern in Lincoln County. According to the proclamation food share distributes over 80,000 pounds of food to those in need each month. This serves approximately 4,500 individuals.
Last year Food Share of Lincoln County through its network of food pantries, back pack programs, shelters and soup kitchens distributed over 1-million pounds of food to local area residents. Nancy Mitchell pointed out that we have a high senior population and a high number of parents who are working poor and can’t afford rents, childcare and healthcare on the amount they make.
Food Share Director Nancy Mitchell told the commissioners “individuals and families with underlying financial struggles usually reach out to food banks as a last resort. This is an attempt to save what little money they may have for rent, utilities, and gas to get back and forth to work.” She added “The hunger proclamation is a reminder that high rent, low wages and lack of resources are the formula for families and children going hungry or becoming homeless.”
Food share offers year round help through their pantries and programs however year round support is also needed to have food available for those in need. Commissioner Bill Hall pointed out recent statistics that show that though unemployment in Oregon is at all time lows, poverty is higher than it was at the peak of the great recession. This equates to many who are working poor and not making enough to be able to meet families’ basic needs. There are pantries located in Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Toledo and Waldport. To learn more or to donate go online to https://www.foodsharelincolncounty.org/