Today, at Shaver Elementary School in Parkrose, the Oregon Food Bank makes the announcement of a gift to expand the school-based pantries in Portland.

To help children and families better access food, Oregon Food Bank — in partnership with Multnomah County’s Schools Uniting Neighborhoods  service system — piloted and established food pantries at six SUN Community Schools in low-income elementary schools in Multnomah County.

One of the pantries is at Shaver. The five other food pantries are at East Gresham Grade School, Kelly in outer southeast Portland, and at Earl Boyles, Alder and Lynch View elementary schools in east county.

This major gift will allow OFB to establish additional school-based food distribution programs in the areas served by its four branches and to leverage additional gifts.

Childhood hunger is a problem in Oregon, according to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap study.

Children are disproportionately represented in poverty. At 29 percent, Oregon is among the states with the highest rate of child food insecurity.

More than a third of those eating meals from emergency food boxes are children, according to the study.

Speakers at the event include Dr. Karen Fischer Gray, superintendent, Parkrose School District; Loretta Smith, commissioner, Multnomah County, District 2; Susannah Morgan, CEO, Oregon Food Bank; Judy Strand, CEO, Metropolitan Family Service and Charlene Zidell, director of corporate relations and communications, Zidell Companies.

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