Toll free comprehensive information and referral line, available throughout Oregon for health information and referral services. Dial 2-1-1.

After School Snack and Meal Program

Federal program that reimburses schools and non-profit sponsors for after school meals served to children through age 18 in qualifying areas (where 50% or more of the children are eligible for free or reduced price school meals). There is no charge to children for the snacks and supper meals.

Child and Adult Care Food Program

Provides healthy meals to children in day care and after-school programs, as well as to functionally impaired adults in day care. The program reimburses participating day care operators for their meal costs and provides them with USDA commodity food and nutrition education materials.

Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)

Through direct food distribution, supplements the diets of elderly people age 60 and over and low-income women and children who do not receive Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program benefits. As in WIC, food packages are tailored to the nutritional needs of participants and may include fruits, vegetables, juices, meats, beans, dairy products, and grains.

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

A community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes, either legally or spiritually, the community’s farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production. Members or shareholders of the farm or garden pledge in advance to cover the anticipated costs of the farm operation and farmer’s salary. In return, they receive shares in the farm’s bounty throughout the growing season, as well as satisfaction gained from reconnecting to the land. Members also share in risks, including poor harvest due to unfavorable weather or pests.

Congregate Meal and Home Delivered programs

A wide variety of meal programs either served to groups setting or delivered to homes, often for elderly or home-bound individuals. These are designed to help low-income or homeless individuals, and meals are usually provided free, at low cost, or through a barter system.

Department of Human Services (DHS), Oregon

Health and human services agency for the State of Oregon. Oversees federal support programs, including food stamps, WIC, medical assistance programs, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). More about DHS.

Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT)

Provides benefits such as food stamps and TANF through a system similar to bank debit cards. Oregon’s EBT system issues benefits on the Oregon Trail card, which works like any other debit card in grocery stores except that food stamp benefits can only be used to pay for food items. Families who are getting cash welfare benefits may also access them through the Oregon Trail card. The Oregon Trail card has dramatically decreased instances of fraud, as well as the perceived stigma of using paper food stamps at grocery stores.

Employment Related Day Care Program

Provides assistance with child care costs for qualifying families. Participants responsible for making co-payments based on their income.

Energy Assistance

A number of programs provide assistance to low-income households in Oregon, including financial help with bills as well as structural changes to homes to lower energy costs. The Oregon Energy Assistance Program (OEAP) is funded by a meter charge to provide energy assistance to low-income households, with an eligibility level of 60% of median annual income of the household size.

Food policy councils

Officially sanctioned bodies comprised of stakeholders from different elements of a state or local food system. Food policy councils allow collaborations between citizens and government officials to examine the operation of a local food system and provide ideas or recommendations for how it can be improved. They are considered a key aspect of community food security.

Food Stamp Program

Provides dollars to low-income households to buy food through an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, Oregon Trail. Food stamps help to reduce hunger and also increase local grocers’ business thereby strengthening the local economy and community.

Fruit and Vegetable Pilot Program

A federal program started 2002-2003 in four states and one Indian reservation to provide fresh and dried fruits and vegetables to students during non-meal times.

General Assistance Program

Provides cash and medical help to people with physical disabilities and/or mental disabilities. This program serves people with disabilities who are unable to do any paid work activity that averages eight hours a day for at least twelve months. General Assistance was cut entirely in February 2003, and a smaller scale program, likely serving less than half the number of participants, was implemented in November 2003.

General Fund, Oregon

About a third of the state budget, the General Fund is largely made up of personal (85%) and corporate income tax revenues, collected by the Oregon Department of Revenue. General Fund appropriations provide funding to agencies that do not generate revenues, receive federal funds, or generate sufficient funds to meet their approved programs.

Housing Trust Funds

A fund that can only be spent on affordable housing initiatives, usually established by state or local governments and receive ongoing public revenues. See the Oregon Housing Trust Fund.

Living wage

An hourly wage or monthly/annual income sufficient to meet a family's basic needs, including food, housing, healthcare, child care, transportation, clothing, household / personal expenses, and insurance. Living wage is based on the principle that anyone who works full-time should be able to support a family above the poverty line. In the US, minimum wages provide significantly less than a living wage.


Covers a wide range of medical benefits and services for low-income individuals, including the young, elderly, and disabled. In Oregon (Oregon Supplemental Income Program Medicaid), eligibility is typically tied to social security income.

Minimum wage

The lowest wage that can be paid to all employees. In Oregon, it is currently $7.05 an hour (as of April 2004), higher than the federal minimum wage. Since 2003, the minimum wage has been tied to the Consumer Price Index.

National School Lunch and Breakfast Program

A federally subsidized meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions. It provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day. Research has demonstrated significant benefits for children who utilize the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs, including increased attendance at school and better test scores.

Oregon Earned Income Tax Credit

A tax credit available to working individuals with low-incomes. The amount returned varies depending on the number of household members.

Oregon Farmers’ Market Association

“Seeks to promote, support and develop this partnership for the benefit of Oregon farmers and Oregon communities”

Oregon Food Bank Network

A statewide network of hunger relief agencies throughout Oregon and Clark County, Washington. The network recovers food from farms, government sources, manufacturers, retailers and individuals and then distributes it to 20 regional food banks.

Oregon Health Plan

Provides health insurance for low-income people, partially funded by a waiver to use federal Medicaid money.

Oregon Housing Trust Fund

In 1991, the Oregon State Legislature passed the Housing Fund Law. Two components of this law are commonly considered the Oregon Housing Trust Fund, the Housing Development and Guarantee Account and the Housing Development Account. They are used to fund new development of low-income housing and guarantee low-income housing mortgage loans.

Parents as Scholars Program

Allows 1 percent of Oregon’s welfare recipients to pursue post-secondary education as an allowable work activity under the TANF program. This is a pilot program created by the 2003 Legislature and modeled after the successful Maine program and currently is not funded in Oregon.

Senior Farmers’ Market Voucher Program and Nutrition Program for the elderly

The Senior Farmers’ Market Program provides coupons to low-income seniors to obtain fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets, improving the nutrition available to seniors and strengthening local food producers. The Nutrition Program for the Elderly distributes cash and commodity foods for meals served in senior citizen centers or delivered by Meals-on-Wheels Programs. All people 60 years and older are eligible to receive meals from these programs, as well as people with disabilities who live in special needs housing facilities.

Small Farms/School Meals Program

A federal program to support and encourage small farms in selling their produce to schools, and to support schools in purchasing this produce.

Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)

Provides reimbursement to schools, non-profits, camps, and government agencies for meals and snacks served to children in low income areas during the summer. Because it is open to all children and doesn not require parents to submit additional paperwork, it is one of the most non-stigmatizing programs available to families.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

Provides cash assistance to low-income families with children while they strive to become self-sufficient. In Oregon, this program is administered through the Department of Human Services.

Unemployment insurance

Provides financial benefits for individuals laid-off from work and unable to find new work, but actively searching. Administered by the Oregon Employment Department.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Works with states and other local bodies to administer federal nutrition programs.

Women, Infants, and Children, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for (WIC)

Low-income women and children under the age of five with a documented nutritional risk receive proper nutrition through vouchers, nutrition education and access to health services. The WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program provides coupons to families to purchase fresh produce, as well as offering tips on shopping effectively at local Farmers’ Markets and selecting and preparing fresh produce.