EUGENE, Ore. – The amount of people in Lane County seeking food assistance in Lane County shot up by 30% in 2023, according to the local non-profit food organization FOOD For Lane County.
The data they use to track food assistance demand reveals Lane County has a higher demand for food assistance than the national average. Around 13.2% of people in Lane County seek food assistance, compared to the national average of 11%.
Rebecca Sprinson is the director of development for FOOD For Lane County, and she said there are many factors to blame. Those include the cut back of pandemic-era programs, inflation and high grocery prices. She said it can get worse for families facing food insecurity as colder weather approaches.
“In the winter when things get cold, heating bills go up and there are some things that are just non-negotiable. But families try to flex where they can,” she said. “That’s where they start relying on less nutritious foods, or serving smaller meals or portions or parents foregoing food so their children have something to eat. So yes, all those pressures combine we knew this would be a holiday season where we need the community to step up.”