Governor’s Food Drive
March 30, 2015
Good morning. I’m excited to be here to celebrate and thank all of you who worked so hard to make this year’s Governor’s Food Drive a success.
Too many Oregonians are struggling to feed their families. It is estimated that 270,000 people each month in Oregon and Southwest Washington rely on meals from emergency food boxes, 38% of whom are families with children under the age of 18.
The human tragedy of this is obvious, as is is the tremendous toll poverty takes on the future prosperity of our state. Children who grow up in poverty have lower earnings as adults, poorer health, and are more likely to be involved in crime. In fact, failing to address hunger costs our state $2.1 billion annually, primarily from health care costs associated with poor nutrition and educational losses for kids who are too hungry to concentrate in school.
It is unacceptable that, in such a bountiful state, members of our community are struggling to make ends meet. I am thankful that Oregon state employees are doing something about it.
I want to thank everyone who participated in the Governor’s Food Drive this year. Next, we will recognize a few high-fliers whose hard work on behalf of their fellow Oregonians really paid off. [The logistics for bestowing awards are forthcoming]