Wyden, Merkley, Hoyle Announce $833,000 to OSU to Support Oregon Food Safety Outreach

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley with U.S. Representative Val Hoyle today announced a federal investment of $833,127 for Oregon State University to develop food safety outreach programs. 

“Underserved communities in Oregon and across the nation deserve to know their food is both nutritious and safe to eat,” Wyden said. “This federal investment in Oregon State University and its world-class researchers will help ensure those goals by promoting outreach and education while preserving the traditional practices of Tribal and coastal communities.”

“Oregon-grown products are healthy, fresh, and support our local communities and state economy,” said Merkley. “This crucial funding will ensure small to mid-sized farmers are able to access food safety training and education programs from community-based organizations – including safe, traditional Tribal practices – in order to provide Oregonians with healthy and safe food grown in the region.”

“I am delighted that Oregon State University (OSU) received two federal grants from the USDA to support food safety education and outreach,” said Rep. Hoyle. “These grants will specifically support Pacific Island communities and Oregon-based Tribal communities in their collaborative partnerships with OSU on culturally appropriate food safety practices and technical assistance. This grant is a testament to OSU’s expertise and commitment to supporting communities through their research and outreach.”

The funding to OSU, from the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture, includes investment for culturally responsive food safety education in Oregon’s tribal communities and for sharing safe methods of processing and preservation for traditional foods. Also included is investment to engage underserved Pacific communities in food safety education and training to address common food safety issues. 

“Preserving seasonal foods has been a central part of the food culture of Indigenous people in Oregon since time immemorial, but new technologies and foods have introduced unique food safety risks,” said Jared Hibbard-Swanson, Food Safety and Program Manager with Oregon State University Extension Family and Community Health Program. “I am excited that this federal investment will enable OSU Extension and Tribal communities to work together to establish and teach safe methods for preserving culturally significant foods.”

“The Pacific Islands are some of the most remote places on the planet and constantly at risk for major disruptions in their food supply,” said Dr. David Stone, Associate Dean of International Programs with the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University. “Our team is excited to get to work on this opportunity to engage with these underserved communities to help them build new networks and capabilities that can better meet their specific needs.”

A web version of this release is here.