Understanding the need
Since 2000, the Latino population in the Eugene-Springfield area has grown by 85 percent.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health and Human Services determined the 2011 Federal Poverty Level to be annual income of $22,350 for a family of four. In 2009 in Lane County, 20 to 24 percent of Latinos families lived at or below the poverty level. The number is higher for those living up to 185 percent of the poverty level, the percentage used to qualify people to receive services from the Oregon Food Bank and their affiliates.
These statistics are a common refrain in our interviews and intake forms with Latino families participating in our programs. Intakes with families in our Organic Garden Instruction program showed that over 42 percent of participants earn less than $16,620 per year and 52 percent of participants earn less than $28,236 per year.
In addition to high levels of poverty among Latinos, Oregon consistently ranks as one of the hungriest states in the nation with a significantly higher percentage of food insecure families being of Hispanic origin.
Without question, there is a strong need for disadvantaged Latino families to develop new income sources, increase economic opportunities, and be empowered with skills and resources to earn better wages. Learn more about our programs and the work we do to help address these issues and more: