Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon works with community partners and representatives of the Oregon Hunger Task Force to advocate for these important child nutrition programs, and increase awareness and participation among Oregonians who are food insecure.
WIC is a public health nutrition program designed to improve health outcomes and influence lifetime nutrition and health behaviors in a targeted, at-risk population. The program is federally funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In Oregon, WIC is administered by the Department of Human Services (DHS), Public Health Division and is part of the Office of Family Health, Nutrition and Health Screening.
WIC serves pregnant women, breastfeeding women with children under 12 months old, non-breastfeeding women with children under 6 months old, and infants and children under 5 years old.
- Reducing complications in pregnancy
- Increasing the number of breastfeeding mothers
- Reducing iron deficiency anemia
- Decreasing the number of low birth weight and premature infants
- Improving growth and development of young children
- Improving eating habits of families
- Improving access to health care
- Nutrition education (individual counseling and group classes)
- Breastfeeding promotion and support
- Breast pumps (in specific circumstances)
- Monthly vouchers for supplemental, specifically prescribed nutritious foods
- Information and referral to other health programs like immunization and social service programs
Guardians may apply for WIC for their children. Applicants must meet four criteria to be eligible for WIC:
- Live in Oregon
- Be a pregnant, postpartum or breastfeeding woman, an infant or a child under 5 years old
- Have a household income less than 185% of poverty guidelines
- Have a nutritional need or risk
Call 211 (toll free) to find the local WIC clinic nearest you.
The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a federally funded program that provides meal reimbursement for meals and snacks in child care centers, family day care homes, Head Start Programs, after school programs, emergency homeless shelters and adult care centers. This program helps to improve the quality of food that is served in these settings and makes serving meals more affordable.
Participants enrolled in non-residential day care programs or residential homeless shelters:
- Children age 12 years or under
- Children and youth age 18 or under if participating on after school at-risk programs, homeless or emergency shelter programs
- Children of migrant workers age 15 or under
- Participants with mental or physical disabilities in child care when the majority of enrollees are aged 18 or under
- Adults participating in qualifying adult day care centers
Lynne Reinoso, Oregon Department of Education
The Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program (FFVP) offers schools and residential child-care institutions (RCCI's) with high percentages of low-income students better access to fresh fruits and vegetables during the school day - at no cost to the school. This program expands childrens' exposure to fresh fruits and vegetables and demonstrates how fruits and vegetables can be a healthy snack option.
States can and do limit the types of products their schools may order. This is a grant program rather than an entitlement program.
To be selected for the FFVP in Oregon, your school must:
- Be an elementary school
- Operate the National School Lunch Program
- Submit a yearly application
- Have 50% or more of your students eligible for free or reduced-price meals
Total enrollment of all schools selected in the state must result in a per-student allocation of $50-75 per year.
Heidi Dupuis, Oregon Department of Education
Farm to School is a term that describes activities in schools and communities with the following shared objectives:
- Provide healthy, nutritious meals in school cafeterias
- Improve students' nutrition and food literacy
- Present engaging health and nutrition education
- Support local farmers and producers
While Farm to School activities in individual schools and communities may vary greatly, the impact and benefit to students, schools and communities are far-reaching. School meals can influence the eating habits of students and assist in shaping their food values.
Michelle Markesteyn Ratcliffe, National Farm to School Network (West); Ecotrust
Joan Ottinger, Farm to School and School Gardens Operations & Policy Analyst; Oregon Department of Education
A garden can become a classroom. A garden in the middle of the schoolyard can be the inspiration for educational opportunities and nutritional benefits.
Currently, many schools are taking advantage of School Gardens to combine and enhance the historical, social, scientific, environmental and nutritional aspects of gardening with other curricula in the classroom. These gardens are providing food that can be used in school meals. School gardens give students a connection to fresh foods that may motivate them to try new items in the cafeteria and at home.
Joan Ottinger, Oregon Department of Education
USDA Memo - School Garden Q & A PDF, 92 KB
Students who rely on school meals during the week sometimes struggle to access food on the weekends and during school breaks. BackPack Programs provide nutritious, kid-friendly, shelf-stable food to students when they cannot access school meals or the Summer Food Service Program.
Programs are run by a variety of organizations including local food pantries, churches and community organizations. Students are selected to participate in a variety of ways and are given a discreet backpack or container of food to help them meet their nutritional needs during the break.
Lesley Nelson (503) 595-5501, ext. 307, Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon