Honors College Thesis

Food Insecurity Among Oregon Food Bank Clientsover the Course of the Great Recession

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  • This thesis examines food insecurity in Oregon among food bank users over the course of The Great Recession. Analyzing data from the Oregon Food Bank, this thesis tells the story of the change that the recession brought upon low-income families. In examining the regional differences in food insecurity, the local structure of important governmental programs is highlighted revealing potential needs for improvement. The analysis (a) describes changes in the composition of Oregon Food Bank clients during The Great Recession and (b) examines how enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program changed among food bank clients. The statistical analysis compares data from 2006, 2010, and 2012 to examine the course of the recession and to highlight change. The results show that while SNAP enrollment only increased 6.5 percent among food bank users, every region increased in enrollment over time except three regions. Eastern Oregon, The Coast, and the North Valley saw a decrease in enrollment from 2006 to 2010. Food insecurity was found to increase 13.3 percent during the recession. Further research is needed to understand why three regions in Oregon decreased in SNAP enrollment while food insecurity increased steadily.
  • Key Words: Food Insecurity, The Great Recession, SNAP, Food Banks
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