Food Insecurity; City Elections; Gas Prices

Food Insecurity

Organizing to end hunger is one tool groups are using in Oregon to highlight and address the issue. Workers say advocacy is especially important in rural parts of the state, where food insecurity is higher. Eddie Melendrez is a community organizer for Oregon Food Bank, based in Ontario in the southeast part of the state. He says pantry sites have seen increased need as food assistance from the pandemic has expired. Melendrez says people can make their voices heard on the issue of hunger.

“It’s very important so folks kind of see the power that they have that they maybe didn’t know that they did have and how they can take collective action to make change in the communities, to ask questions, to show up and to hold our elected officials accountable.”

According to data released by Feeding America in 2022, the average rate of food insecurity in Oregon was about 13 percent.

City Elections

The City of Florence is gearing up for November elections.  Currently with the city council there are 3 seats that are up for reelection. Mayor Rob Ward has indicated that he will run again for mayor and has filed his petition.  Councilor Sally Wantz has also filed for the seat she currently occupies.  For the third seat, currently held by Councilor Bill Meyer, there is one listed on the ballot, former Siuslaw News reporter Mark Brennan. Filing period ends on August 13th and the election will be on November 5th.

Gas Prices

Marie Dodds with AAA Oregon says late spring driving numbers have not been rising to where they would effect demand on oil supplies and that has resulted in another decrease in prices.  Dodds reports that prices in Oregon are down another 7 cents this past week and the average price for regular is at $4.09 a gallon. Coastal prices for the Florence area are down to $3.76 a gallon.  She says that it may not last long as they are predicting a boom in travel for the approaching 4th of July holiday, but until that time prices should remain fairly flat. Supplies are high right now according to Dodds. The West Coast region continues to have the most expensive pump prices in the nation with all seven states in the top 10. It’s typical for the West Coast to have six or seven states in the top 10.