Food insecurity has been a growing problem throughout the pandemic across the US, in Oregon, and especially in Multnomah county. The USDA reports that 13.8 million US households were food insecure in 2020, and estimates that this number has grown in 2021. An estimated 1 million Oregonians - close to 1 in 4 people - experienced food insecurity in 2020 (Edwards, 2020). 1 in 7 of these Oregonians is a child (Feeding America, 2021). According to data collected by the Oregon Food Bank, Multnomah county has the highest number of food insecure people in the state: 133,230 individuals (2020). Juxtaposing this data is the sobering reality that an estimated 31% of food is wasted each year in America, translating into 96 billion pounds of food and $165 billion in lost economic value (Evans & Nagele, 2018).
Our Founding Story
"Feed the Mass was created in 2016. I started teaching children how to cook and bake simple yet healthy food at their parents’ request. Quickly the word got out and I was teaching my first Little Chef Class.
One day I heard the story of Jesus and the miracle of feeding the masses with 5 fish and 2 loaves of bread. The story wasn’t that he multiplied the food, but that if people shared the little they had it would always be enough. To feed the mass you need to teach people to feed each other.
This is where the name Feed the Mass comes from. My goal is to teach people that we take care of each other through food and cooking. Food connects every person in the world. I want to use it to create a community that is inclusive, diverse, and accessible to everyone."
Jacobsen Valentine, Founder & Executive Director