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Oregon Food Bank 090918

Sep 5, 2018|

AN INTERVIEW WITH MYRNA JENSEN WITH THE OREGON FOOD BANK AND NICOLE FRISCH WITH FIRST TECH CREDIT UNION ABOUT HUNGER ACTION MONTH, HOW OFB FEEDS THE HUNGRY, AND HOW FIRST TECH’S COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

This is mental skills and Entercom radio Portland public affairs program. And during blocks of September is hunger action month. And not surprisingly the Oregon food bank is very involved plus find out what's going on on the so this time I would like to welcome murder Jensen public relations with the organ food bank. And Nicole Frisch senior director of community engagement at first tech federal credit union welcome to the show ladies. Thank you know. So you've teamed up. Bjorn food bank and first take federal credit union have teamed up in September for hunger action month correct yes that does that tell me about hunger action month what's going on when we'll start with you sure I am hunger action month is a time when we can now and bring everybody together and raise awareness around the issue of hunger in the United States and so it's really a chance to mobilize people to spread the word to let them know. I'm where hunger is how severe it is in their community in their seats across the country. So it's a nationwide campaign and you know it's also in Canada as well I just discover that this weekend while that's oppressive. So tell me about the organ food bank to me about the work you guys do there. Leno we are here to assists. People who you are in need of food assistance and you know that's that's her first and foremost is to make sure they're not country today. We estimate that about 200 a blue and 60000 people each month are eating food that they received from a pantry in Oregon and Clark Kenny Washington. So it's it's still pretty severe problem here in our state. But then you know on top of that we want to do what we can't and to get beyond that to help people become. More self reliance. And so we have programs that. Involve kicking in gardening. And also another aspect of our riches TC what we can do to change policies. State federal. Comes local policies that will help people who struggle with hunger and some of those issues that are higher. Those people face you know whether it be housing whether it be child care whether it be health care. So weary in doing some work there I mean apparent in the pavement to talk to people. Our lawmakers about what they can do and YE and we feel that they need to be helping us and hoping those people who are right on the edge. What kind of progress is being made. You know I'm we have seen hunger I hate it obviously went out shortly after the recession that the beginning of the recession it went up quite dramatically and it's come. Downs lately but we're really at a plateau. Who we are not quite back to our pre recession levels yet we're getting close we keep hoping we'll get closer and closer but I'm. We're seeing that people are now coming to our entries. I am most of the time they're coming out once or twice a year maybe. Or her. We've got people who are coming and having to use it quite regularly so it's a coping strategy it's how they get through the month. So that's really where we're at great now I'm in with Hungary and gas seven hunt 260000. People each month are accessing foods and they're getting Fister who pantry. Do you know what percentage of the population that is if it's now. And I don't know that we figured out a percentage of us that. Significant amount of people that you cash number yeah I mean we figured that in Horry and neck organs population is just over four million. We fear that we serve per year about 740000. People. On and so that is and that's you know we know that those that that's a fairly good estimate and duplicated number we figure that you know closer. People you are. Coming in some of them come in like you said once or twice and in the year some of them are having to come much more regularly. And so many people are really just living on the edge one paycheck away from a potential disaster relief. Yeah I you know that's so we find an and you know there is adds several studies out recently won in the that the urban institute just put doubts that talks about how. Many people around. Are barely or not quite able to afford just life's necessities. And they are literally living paycheck to paycheck they barely have enough for they don't have enough to cover. What they need whether that be gassed for their car whether that be a phone and in this teeny agents itself on its not a Landmine. Things that they need to use your daily lives and to make sure that their kids have. And money for that school still trip or that they have the ability to get new school supplies as this is back to school season. Am so all of this things are just there but they might not be able to pay enough they wanna have enough from Madison that they need Aaron because not all of that is had periods and by their insurance if they have insurance and which we do know that more people have insurance now we have seen that many of the people he served. They are feeling like they are in a better spot because of the Affordable Care Act that has helped a lot. I am but they're still there's that Adam are really struggling. To me about misconceptions who are these people are talking about. You know I I know dates in Portland obviously we have. And yes does this answer definitely hungry we do work with partners who serve them the hot meals. Or. Bag lunches those sorts of things that. Hunger is really am sort of an invisible thing people do really good job up eating it it could be your neighbor it could be that you live in a nice older neighborhood where people keep up their yards and drive nicer newer cars. But it could be that your neighbor right next door in is struggling because needed aid did get a pay cut maybe they do have some really outstanding debts. That they are just training keep up left. So it is it's incredibly easy for people to have age that they are just and whether they are not eating announced or whether they're eating whenever they can finance chief best that's one of the things that. On many people think well all you know why aren't agent the wire people who struggle land ages eating better fitted well better food is more expensive the 90s heat and I am not Mac and cheese for a dollar a box. Number that's not gonna have all the nutrients that she need. So I'm really we see that it's it's that. It's anybody it's people who are older it's fame means it's. You know adults who are single and they don't have any dependents so they don't get any of those tax breaks or some of those things that could help them out. So and of course there's a lot of other populations like our you know our veterans and that others who are affected. Courses so many people to help out and or include things things that you could jump Katrina thank you how what makes the organ food banks are unique. And I think it's because not only do we provide food assistance but we are also looking acts. How can we help people to become more self reliance how can only teach them to. Grows some food in a small space or a large space if they have a large space. I am or how weakened PowerPoint teach them to cut because you know when you think about it they've cut programs like. Home economics from schools and does that and doesn't even exist in most schools now and is he says so many people if they didn't learn how to cook from their parents and then they are grandparents and they don't let them and I know how to cut themselves or they haven't learned budgeting techniques. Or how to read labels are some of those sort of basic things have not been passed along. Or if they've been second cycle of poverty if their family as they may never have learned whenever we may never have had the option to learn. But I am of course to add that the cracks is is our advocacy work what can we do to help people what can we do to. And make policies that aren't going to help people get a heads and really. Become reliant on themselves but also has a system that's working with them and you know we know that and systemic racism some of those issues are also. Many of those issues are also at the crux of this problem and keeping people from being the best that they can be. Mr. mills on the happenings Jim going on the September's UUU. Dean September hunger action month. Panic hunger action month is just a time we want people to get out and actually take action hand am we have a lot of core rates and easy ways for people to do that and what our goal is is to reach 260000. Actions this month and you can. It can be as easy as aim mouse click by all liking one of Murphy's the post or it can be as. I'm fine and I know Nicole can agree today as as three packing food at our one of our warehouses. Where does to them yeah I've done it I've done it so there's all these ways you can sign up for a volunteer shift or. You know you can contact your lawmaker. And say hey. You know I think this is important and I like you did put more emphasis on it so. We have got a whole host of ways and our web sites amp. Boring in feed bank dot org slash hunger action month will give you all the tools you need. Agree wit and looking and are now. Company information and that's what we're aiming to do so. Mean really it's there's little ways and there's big ways that we just want everybody to take an action and we really like to blow well passed that 260000. Actions this month down. Let's do that yes exactly. Let me introduce once again Nicole Frisch at senior director of community engagement with first take federal credit union the cold. What are you guys involved with the organ from bank went what is the so important to you. Yeah first does that involve experiences and from more than thirty years so. And I think really the reason why we love the food bank and also hunger action month is because they are really innovative. We could spend time feeding everyone in this state. Forever and not solve the problem of hunger. And really origin food bank is digging deeper and looking at those systematic causes looking at policy work. And really being thoughtful and at first tech we serve the innovators in our community we are community born homegrown here in or again. And and this is an opportunity for us to. And really show that commitment to this state that helped us grow and and become you know up a pretty big credit Indiana over the sixth largest in the nation and but this is really work that we're incredibly passion on our employees are incredibly passionate about. As Myrna mentioned I have been packing food food banks had a long time effort and their employees love it and and and dedicate thousands of hours. To packing food and to other actions just like what you can find on that website the PG during hunger action month. That that food begging thing I've we did that as a company here and it was really fun. You think while this is going to be kind of a weird thing to do what we've chucked corn putting plastic bags and got ready for freezing it was just played one of the funniest most. Interactive thing we can do it. Think you're great opportunity for groups and even just individuals have lots of individuals who come in India and because it's easy and you can sign up online and sell. Probing now's a good time to do arrayed there's a lot of fresh produce human and maybe there is this is a time merely do get a lot of fresh produce and and as the harvest commend the farmers are generous and they give us and some of them are regular donors as and they have storage space so they donate throughout the year but others begin you know bonus crap says. Broccoli or cauliflower I think last year we were and doing cauliflower. You know and so there is a lot of credits that can that can come through and people can help with. And the best place to sign up is probably a minor exactly signing up online you can find a location that's close to you know you can find a time that works for you look. That because we even have Saturday hours we had to evening hour span say yeah we we want we want people come we want them to sign up and how fun and we also want them to know that. Do it now before the holiday season because we know you're all busy to sell. Or a sign up for you know. Next year I get to. Ethical and hear more about that you you have a complete culture at first and that's really involved in the community tell me about the. Yeah we do it's it's really had a great place to work and credit unions. Have a cooperative spirit so it's all about people helping people and our employees really take it to a new level. We have about 15100 employees and last year they volunteered more than 30000 hours in our community. That's a lot that's a lot of it is always a lot we organize more than a 150 employee volunteer Benson and more than 90% of our employees in out in the community and volunteer and that's just those were telling us about it again. And a lot of them are volunteering at the food banker at their own local food pantry in their own community because there are what nine. And dread that there's nine hundred's well actually it's more like and 12100. Food assistance sites so it it across the state. Yup that's a lot yeah so we have employees probably quite a few of those while you're out volunteering. And it really is something that's part of our culture it's baked into who we are. And as Vernon mentioned you know having groups volunteered food bank is great we have teams that have their team retreats are treating thirteen meetings at the food bank. So they'll go volunteer for half a day in in the meet one of the meeting rooms for the other half of the day. And and it's such a great way to get your team involved and whether it's. Collaborative spirit with your team archery team likes to maybe compete a little bit and race about it but I porn offensive as a and it really works out and it's it. It's been such an amazing partnership and our employees really do love. And every experience inhabit the food bank I can't say enough what a great experiences their team of volunteer managers. And that everyone on their team is so good at what they do it. And and really are incredibly effective at all the work that they're doing in the community and we like our volunteers from first actually showed up even with the threat to us. You know and then at both superstar missed a couple of years ago I was there yes there until I know is that nightmare one where everybody SI and the relevance well. No dream anyway so we finish that Lotus food out they can't. Congratulations. Way to go first and don't really can't. Tell me when it's a good time to volunteer that open it seems like everybody thinks about the around the holiday season is probably the best and to do it but I've I've talked to several people who say summertime is really important. I'm too summertime is important and the Canas and we know people are on vacation and am you know we we like to have them count me in am you know. But it's also a school so it's a great time to bring kids in during the summer and we also witnessing just after the holidays because I would say that there is a little right after the holidays people are. I kind of having that recovery period and people are getting back into school or work after may be some time off. So that we would love to see people come and at the beginning of the year. And like I said you know if you can't do it during the holiday season you know just make death. Speak your New Year's resolution to sign up. It's a sign have been coming in February or January or whatever time works for you but. Really act yes summer as Maria winding down and it'll slow to at this time mere only because. Everybody has returning from their vacations families are anyway and there's kind of that transition time that shoulder season. To really organ through bank works. Well well we do is we work with regional big banks across the states. We are we do we were collaborative Lee so what we are able to do is bring in large quantities of food whether it be donated food or food that has been collectively purchased. Although it regional big banks are independents and asked that we work is a network. So that we can distribute that food out to those regional food banks and from there. It goes out to all the local food pantries so it's really a system on its debt is is kind of an act like a network can and it's everybody's connected. We are able to also work. With growers in different regions. They can and their food that is being sourced from their region king go to their region first in the rest of it will come to Oregon food bank to be. I'm divvied up amongst the all the rest the seed banks. But really it's a hug we are there to make sure that span the entire state has what it means and that it equitable amongst the states. Because no we know that there's not as many folks down in net I you know. Southeastern RD NN's Eric here in the mattress so it but we can make it work we do a lot of talking with amongst each other in figuring out how to make those processes work and also it's a it's cost efficient to do it that way and it's time. It's time saving too when you're working together to make this happen. To me about what the experience like for somebody coming in to use a food bank would have what do they experienced in the come in the door. You know it's really easy we take as many barriers and get rid of them as possible when you can end. To one of our free food markets or the food pantry. We need to know. Here's account. We need to know how many people you are getting food fart. And whether you've been there before. We do have some additional questions that some of our pantries are asking. And more because what we wanna do is figure out how we can serve people that are. On that people do not need to have a ninety they don't need to have princess income. It's very simple because we know that there's a lot of people out there that might be scared to ask for fan. I'm their leader really are as many situations that might put people off from coming and in some cases it might be an employer they're afraid their employer would find out. So it really we want to make it is easy and simplest possible they would get enough food for. We say about three to five days for each family member but it kind of depends on on blacks. What they need. And when they come through most of our pantries allow people to choose what they want you get to choose. Do you want canned green beans do you want fresh green beans do you client. Check indie lot beef you know those sorts of things because we want people to eat the food that they're getting we don't want to give them up. Pre packed box of food and say this is what you will eat your some dried Lima beans. To actually. They'd like you were saying earlier to a lot of people don't know what to do with some of the food that they don't really know and Lugar prepare that are. All of them and even that you know we do get we and we do get pretty is like that you know how many people regularly cut quick things like rooted Hagan is and turn gets some cultures still some don't so we actually have to do a little bit education there are two and figure out how. You are we putting some recipes out there are some simple preparation so that people leave more encouraged to take those are today as are all that squash it week. Tend to get later in the fall back. Squash is awesome yeah it. So what's there again you know we talk about how people weren't taught to cook those things so we have to get that edge maybe they've never even tried it. And one thing that we one of the myths that we have to you know. Parents you have small children. They might not wanna try their kids on some of those fresh. Nationals that they spotted the store because their kids might not like it and if you had kids you know that it takes them umpteen times. Today find defeated at daylight but if you're on the tape punching you don't wanna waste that food. So I don't add up contaminant tight spot so yeah it's easier to feed them the chicken nuggets or that. You know or that or Mac and cheese and not try them on new fitted so this this gives people the option to do that if they come to the food bank Holland even with the food bank. I have and it organ feed bank for almost five years and but in that amount of time when the food banks circling 1988 is that whatever it only you know yes overs there where over thirty years old now. And here in Oregon we started and back in 1988 we were we're a little bit different sat. We looked a little different back and and even before then we did have some. I am. Semblance of a feed pantry a food bank. Model but it's much different now and how and how things. With hunger changed over the years and even that you've been with the food bank. Here we've done a lot better at tracking things via data to find out what people want we've been able T get the systems in place to you. Talked to people who are. Getting sued about what they whine we're also able to. Look at the cultures that we're serving in the communities and find out what went to dateline. Some. Feed pantries and and food banks. Have a lot more members of the Hispanic community. And some serve a lot more Russians. So we can Taylor and those feet pantries can tailor what they get to meet the needs of those communities. And so now we're asking those questions we wanna know how can Meserve you passed. That's great yeah I really does and in you know there's a there's a lot of comfort in that especially for people who come you weren't born and raised here. Tickle me askew it's it's hunger action month what do you what do you and for sex cooking to what mystery hoping you up to the community during this month. Well I think one of the things that weren't really. Excited about hunger action month is mobilizing every want to take that one accent like Myrna mentioned you know going to the web site. And there are so many different ways that you can get involved. And you know I think one of the things that's also really exciting news media when you take an action. Sure it was someone that Ernie is someone also take action invite someone to volunteer with you. And rally here that people together share something on your FaceBook whatever that action and is. And that's really exciting and you know for us. And at first check one of the things that we're really looking at is everything that we do in the communities focused on our next generation looking at the kids in our community. And they are the future for all of us right there the future leaders and thinkers innovators streamers everything that we value here in Oregon south as Washington. And and really thinking about you know if ever run to the minute think about how hard it is to focus when you're hungry. Or paying great harassment MS I have feeling lately ever and how hard it is to focus and think about how hard it would be to do math. Brey our science or sit in a classroom when your hungry and if you did you want action this month for hunger action month that he can. Christie hunger action day on September 13 I'm. One way that you can get involved could really help kids in our community and that next generation that's something that first pack is really. Engagement this month. Murmured Tony Blair some actions a peep shows can be used in were hoping to have them take during the month of September. You know we would love them to use their social media accounts to share. What what is going on with Hungary aren't in town all those resources are available at organ keybank dot court. Come but also you know. Talk with their neighbors talk with their friends sharing their experiences that they've experienced hundreds themselves if their pet family Eric. London's they've gone through a rough patch and it needed assistance found. In some cases it may be more informal like maybe you just out may be your families helping you out and named provided to Fareed you hadn't you didn't have to go to food. But on sharing those instances and explaining that it's far more common than people think. On top of that you know. We would love to have people sign up to volunteer we'd love to have people donate or contact their lawmaker and talk with them you know whether it's by email or by owner. Just making a comment. We know that there are some big things are going to be happening on the federal level this month likely sell. We know that farm bill that they'll be talking about call color senators caller our congress people and and talk with them. On and on you know September 13 is hunger action day and that's where we focus some of our. Our big energies who we will be talking about the state of hunger on that day our CEO will be giving a a speech about. What it's like in origin and where we're going from here. So there are many many ways and they can be really tiny or you know. You can plan is elaborately is you want and we can support really in many ways you can help you with posters and flyers and those sorts of things so we would love to have people. Cause sucked and will help you figure something out. The year would say it is definitely agree resource for India and started and I thought that more time. It is oriented bank dot org slash hunger action month. Well during two bank is definitely doing amazing things in first check is really open Elvis has been great. Thank you thank you. Thanks to both militia. I've been talking today with Myrna Jansen public relations with urine food bank and cold fresh senior director of community engagement at first I federal credit union. Metro scope is an Entercom radio Portland public affairs program. I'm Gary blocks and if you're involved with a non profit for public affairs organization or if you have an idea for an upcoming show I'd like to hear from you. This is microscope PDX dot com and submit your ideas you can also go to the station's website and submit your information there. Thanks for listening to metros go and enjoy the rest of your weekend.