Ron volunteers at Oregon Food Bank, defends essential anti-hunger work

Ron and much of his Portland staff pitched in recently at the Oregon Food Bank to help volunteers pack apples for Oregonians needing help each day getting enough food to eat.

“As far as I’m concerned, the Oregon Food Bank and the many people who volunteer here all have “size 7” halos,” he said. “I just thought I’d bring a few reinforcements this morning.”

The senator said the fight against hunger gains both when Oregonians put in some “sweat equity” and volunteer to help the Food Bank -- and when Congress pursues proven anti-hunger policies like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

One key battle ahead in Washington, DC, he said, was ensuring House Republicans do not eliminate or slash SNAP benefits for nearly 160,000 Oregonians as part of the Farm Bill.

Ron said those Oregon seniors and families needing food assistance are balancing on an “economic tightrope” that should not have to withstand these cavalier cuts.

"They're doing everything they can to play by the rules and work hard and there still aren't enough dollars to make the family budget work," he said, noting that the cuts are short-sighted on top of being cruel because reducing nutrition options generates high healthcare costs.

During his visit to the Oregon Food Bank, Ron also said he would fight the Trump administration’s callous proposal to throw together pre-packaged foods into so-called “harvest boxes.”

“Making sure vulnerable Oregonians have access to nutritious food both at home and at school has been a priority of mine for a long time,” he said. “And I will fight for these critical programs that help families fill in the food gaps while they fight their way out of hunger.”

After his volunteering at the Oregon Food Bank, Ron held southern Oregon town halls in Douglas, Coos and Curry counties.