2017 KVAL Can Do! food drive benefiting FOOD for Lane County | Wednesday, April 12

Join KVAL for the Can Do! food drive to help FOOD for Lane County meet the demand for food in our community. You can drop off food #LiveOnKVAL Wednesday, April 12, 2017, at the Fred Meyer on Q Street in Springfield between 5 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.

EUGENE, Ore. - Join KVAL for the Can Do! food drive to help FOOD for Lane County meet the demand for food in our community.

You can drop off food #LiveOnKVAL Wednesday, April 12, 2017, at the Fred Meyer on Q Street in Springfield between 5 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. | OTHER DONATION SITES

We'll be broadcasting live, so stick around to meet the KVAL News crew - or wave at the cameras!

You can also donate from your mobile phone: Text "KVAL" to 41444 to make a donation.

Or make a donation online as part of the Can Do! food drive.

Most Wanted Foods

You know you want to help FOOD for Lane County on Wednesday, April 12, as part of the KVAL Can Do! Food Drive.

But which foods will do the most good? | MOST WANTED FOODS LIST

The need is great; so is your generosity

The 2016 Can Do! food drive gathered enough food and cash to provide 33,571 meals.

How prevalent is the problem of hunger?

Oregon's hunger rate remains unacceptably high. 16.1 percent of households in Oregon lack consistent access to adequate amounts of nutritious food (food insecurity). Chronic and persistent hunger remains an issue that we need to address. (USDA Household Food Security in the U.S., 2014)

More than one in three Lane County residents (41%) is eligible for emergency food assistance. (living at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level)

Oregon has a high childhood hunger rate (26%) (Feeding America). In Lane County, 53% of the children qualify for free/reduced school meals (Oregon Department of Education).

Lane County's unemployment rate is improving (5.0% in February 2016). Despite the improving job picture, the level of need is not decreasing. The unemployment rate only reflects people getting benefits and does not count people whose benefits have expired and are still looking for work. Most people don't access emergency food services until other resources have run out. The unemployment rate also doesn't include people who are no longer able to work.

What effect does hunger have on people?

66% of food boxes recipients worry about where their next meal is coming from. They live with the constant stress of trying to make ends meet.

14% of recipients cut the size of their children's meals or skipped meals because there was not enough money for food.

36% have watered down food or drink to make them last longer.

60% of recipients also get SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).

Who in our community experiences hunger?

57% of recipients are working, retired, or have a disability that prevents them from working

60% have someone in their household that has been unemployed during the last two years

21% of recipients have someone in their household with diabetes.

What are the impacts of FOOD for Lane County's programs?

The emergency food box program fills the gap. Through the work of 30 non-profits and churches that run an emergency food box program, people can access a three to five day supply of food. Seventy-three percent (73%) of people receiving food say that when they add the food they get from the pantry to their other food supplies, they are able to meet their food needs for the month. Not only that, food boxes made it possible for them to prepare healthier meals (56%), pay utility bills (33%), or pay their rent or mortgage (28%).

50% of those who are eligible for food assistance in Lane County are accessing food boxes.

Seniors eat more nutritious food and have more money left over for other necessities. With the help of a delivered box of grocery staples through our Senior Grocery Program, 42% of program participants report that they consume more fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and calcium. There are fewer times that they run out of money to buy food by the end of the month.

Youth eat more fruits and vegetables. After participating in our Youth Farm program, 97% of participants report that they and their families eat more fresh fruits and vegetables since learning at the gardens.

Produce Plus gets fresh produce to the community. With the produce available through nine Produce Plus program sites, people have access to fruits and vegetables they wouldn't otherwise: 94% of participants eat more fruits and vegetables as a result of participating in the program, and 85% have more food at each meal.

Diverse populations have access to food. Due to the efforts of our Multicultural Outreach Program, the percentage of food box recipients who self-declare as Hispanic/Latino has risen to 11% (up from 6% in 2010).

The Mobile Pantry reaches two new communities. The mobile pantry program provides food to households that lack emergency food assistance. Local communities engaged with the mobile pantry through becoming a host site and volunteering, then applied to partner with FFLC and take over the site as a permanent pantry or supplemental program. Access of food to clients became permanent in these communities.

Food helps build community. Conversations with Extra Helping participants at thirty-six housing sites reveal that the food is vital to their monthly budget and that they also appreciate the connection with their neighbors. Some sites have gardens, Summer Food Programs, kids' clubs, and other activities.

Adults learn to cook and shop on a budget. After participating in a Cooking Matters class, participants increase knowledge and gain practical skills to stretch limited food budgets and prepare nutritious food for themselves and for others. Fourty-four percent of class participants increased their homemade meals using basic whole ingredients. Fifty-three percent of participants on grocery store tours learned to find the best deals through comparing prices.

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