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Tribute To Rachel Bristol

Sen. Ron Wyden

legislator photo

Mr. President, today I wish to recognize someone who has spent the last 30 years in the front ranks of the fight against hunger in my State.

Rachel Bristol, president and CEO of the Oregon Food Bank, has devoted her life to making sure that Oregonians in need are able to put nutritious food on the table. She has spent every minute of every day of her career doing everything in her power to eliminate hunger.

As Rachel retires, she leaves behind a legacy of determination and hard work that has guided the Oregon Food Bank and seen it expand into a professional organization that reflects her vision of what a community should do to help those in need.

Last year alone, the Oregon Food Bank Network distributed more than 81 million pounds of food. I am proud to say that I have stood beside the food bank's employees and volunteers and packaged my share of pancake mix or other food. So, I know firsthand how dedicated they are in making sure that no one goes to bed hungry.

Whether we call it hunger, food insecurity or something else, what we are really talking about is the tragedy of having hungry families in the richest country in the world.

Rachel saw that inequity and spent her life doing something about it. Because of that fewer people in Oregon went hungry because she gave them a place to go--a place to look to--for basic nutritious food to put on their table.

Because of Rachel Bristol, the food bank is a better organization and Oregon is a better community.

While she may be retiring, something tells me that the fight against hunger will always be a part of who she is.