Publish Date: Fall 2015
Congratulations to the Oregon Food Bank’s Community Food Systems team for hosting the highly successful “Closing the Hunger Gap” national conference last month in Portland. Our
OSU Small Farms Center was there, co-leading a session on opportunities for universities to support community food systems work. Other sessions explicitly discussed the role of local food, local farmers, and sustainable agriculture in ending hunger.
OFB shared with us the following Conference highlights:
• 480+ attendees, from 273 organizations, 40 states, DC, and 3 Canadian Provinces.
• Developed a Race & Equity Statement for the CTHG Network to sign-on to: Racial injustice and privilege are at the root of economic injustice. Economic injustice is the root cause of hunger. The only way to end hunger is to end racial injustice.
• 43% of those people who answered the question, “What should be the focus of the 2017 conference?” answered explicitly race & equity
Quotes: “Thank you so much. This conference has been eye-opening, empowering, educational, and life changing.”
“I feel like I can never go to another conference again outside of CTHG because I’ll just be thinking the whole time that we’re not talking about the right things.”
“I had such a positive experience here, maybe better than any other conference. I really appreciated that the conference didn’t shy away from challenging political analysis. This was demonstrated, included Black Panthers history, creating group work agreements, an emphasis on the intersection of race and privilege in food bank work, etc.”
“The conference reiterated to me the need to address root causes and be intentional about building programming that isn’t just a band aid.”
“I think that the focus on race and privilege was really powerful and isn’t discussed enough. These issues are closely tied to the individuals and families we serve and I think we need to take a closer look at our social structures and institutions if we really are serious about ending hunger, increasing food access, and being for food justice.”