FEAST: Community Programs for Latinx People in Central Oregon

(By Tommy Díaz, Healthy People & Communities Program Manager)

NCAP, Oregon Food Bank and the hispanic community in Morrow County establish the creation of food security programs..

The new projects will have the goal of improving Latinx folks’ access to healthy foods in Morrow County. NCAP will lead the charge along with partners like the Morrow Health Department, the Migrant Education Program and Oregon State University’s Food Hero Program.

(Boardman, OR, March 2024) - With the goal of starting a conversation around Food Security in Morrow County, a new iteration of Oregon Food Bank’s (OFB) successful community program, F.E.A.S.T (Food, Education, Agriculture, Solutions, Together), was established March 9th. The Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP) was the organization in charge of leading this event of over 80 people, volunteers and collaborators at San Boardman Elementary School in Boardman.

NCAP’s Equity, Healthy Communities & Environment Specialist Ana Elisa Wilson and members of the FEAST Committee divided attendees into four work groups, with the objective of applying real solutions to improve access to healthy foods.in Morrow. By the end of the event, the teams came up with tangible projects that will be carried out in the short and midterm.



The FEAST Committee was composed of community leaders with profound insight into their communities’ needs, including María “Kalli” Morales, Jacqueline Juárez, Edelmira García, Ana María Rodríguez, and Alejandro Rodríguez.

The event also included an Experts Panel composed of: Obdulia “Abby” Muñoz (Migrant Education Program), Ana Laura Piñeyro (Morrow Health Department), Carolina Muniz (OSU’s Food Hero Program), and Gaudencio Felipe (Radio La Ley). The Panel held a productive discussion about food insecurity, sharing their experience as community leaders from their respective organizations, later responding to questions from attendees.


(From Left to Right: Ana Elisa Wilson, Maria Khalli Morales, Edelmira Connie Garcia, Jaqueline Juarez)


After the workgroups, attendees agreed on certain programs to be carried out with support from the Morrow County Department of Health, the Migrant Education Program and Oregon State University’s (OSU) Food Hero Program. These are the projects selected for short and midterm implementation:


  1. Educational workshops for the Latinx community in partnership with collaborating organizations. Partnership with OSU’s Food Hero Program.
  2. Assisting Latine folks in getting the Food Handler’s Card, along with organizational partners.
  3. Close support and collaboration between NCAP and OSU’s Food Hero Program, so more hispanic community members have access to their benefits.
  4. Assistance and resources for creating community gardens around Morrow County. This includes giving out pots, soil, and gardening equipment to seed culturally appropriate produce like green chile, cherry tomatoes, sweet chile, greens beans and squash.


Partner organizations that attended this event were: Doulas Latinas International (DLI), Euvalcree, Oregon Child Development Coalition (OCDC), EOCIL, Oregon Human Development Corporation (OHDC), Umatilla Morrow Head Start (UMHS), Food Hero Nutritional Program (OSU), Farmworker Housing, Radio La Ley 96.1FM, New Horizons Program and Familias en Acción.

In addition to establishing Food Security programs, organizations were able to share their own projects with the Morrow community and strengthen existing partnerships with community members.

NCAP is grateful for the warm welcome and support that the FEAST program has had within the Latinx community. We thank our partners that contributed with gifts, donations, food and resources. We would also like to thank José García (New Horizons) for donating food boxes and Oregon Food Bank for their support and guidance. For more information on how to support this and other NCAP community programs go to www.pesticide.org/donate_now.

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  • Alisa Howell-Smith
    published this page in BLOG 2024-05-16 09:47:45 -0700