According to Community Action 45,023 individuals in Washington County, Oregon live below the Federal Poverty Level. This means that about 1 in 10 Washington County residents fall below the poverty line and as many as %22 of residents are considered low-income. However, conditions of poverty can be found in households that have incomes well above the Federal Poverty Level. These families are forced to choose between which basic needs they will ultimately fulfill.
The 2012 Oregon Food Bank study on hunger throughout the state identified that 34% of household members receiving emergency food basket relief were children under the age of 18. An estimated 92,000 Oregonian children were at times uncertain where their next meal would come from. Likewise, 36% of households interviewed reported reducing their children’s meals during the year and almost one-third of these families were forced to cut their children’s meals monthly.
These statistics demonstrate considerable food insecurity for children and youth primarily due to income instability in the household. This project provides access to yet another avenue through which to increase food security. Not only will families experience the immediate result of homegrown edible plants but they will also be connected to the resources available through the local gardening community.