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Bushels For Betsy

Oregon Wheat producers help fight the battle against hunger through the Oregon Wheat Foundation's Bushels for Betsy program. Donations made to Bushels for Betsy are used to produce pancake and baking mixes, which are distributed through the Oregon Food Bank.

It takes about 4,500 bushels for each 200,000 lb. batch of mix we deliver each year to Oregon Food Bank. That’s about 230,000 lbs. of milled wheat! The Oregon Wheat Foundation’s “Bushels for Betsy” program provides about half the wheat needed.

Humble Beginnings

The Bushels for Betsy program was started in 1996 by the Oregon Wheat Foundation to turn the generosity of wheat growers into pancake and other baking mixes to help fight the battle against hunger in Oregon. On average, 5,000 – 7,000 lbs of baking and/or pancake mix is donated annually.

In 2007, the Oregon Wheat Foundation joined with Farmers Ending Hunger (FEH) to combine our efforts, as some wheat growers were donating directly to Farmers Ending Hunger. Since 2007, Bushels for Betsy has donated over $80,000 in cash to FEH!

How Wheat Farmers Help

1. A grower (farmer) donates to the Bushels for Betsy program, with cash, or in bushels of wheat when the grain is sold.
    • Grain donation: Farmers donate by the bushel through Bushels for Betsy, or by the acre through Farmers Ending Hunger (FEH) Commitment Form. The value of the grain gifted is sent from the co-op to FEH to GrainCraft for processing into flour.
    • Cash donation: This is accumulated with other cash donations in a special account with the Oregon Wheat Foundation and sent annually to Farmers Ending Hunger for the purchase of flour. OWF Donation Form or online
2. The flour is transported to Continental Mills/Krusteaz where the perfect ingredients are added, and it is packaged into bags of baking mix. The beauty of our mix is that it is shelf stable. You only need to add water to the mix. It’s a versatile mix and can be used for pancakes, biscuits, muffins, dumplings and more!

3. The Oregon Food Bank sends trucks to pick up the mix from Continental Mills/Krusteax, and distributes it through their network of food banks throughout Oregon.

Did you know?

  • In 2018, 213,000 lbs. of pancake and baking mix were distributed through the Food Bank network, serving 63,000 families with a 3-lb bag of mix.
  • Over $80,000 was contributed in cash through the Bushels for Betsy program since beginning the work with FEH in 2007.
  • The donated mix does not all go to the urban population as one might expect. Approximately 45% of Oregon Food Bank food donations are distributed to food banks in Eastern Oregon.
  • The Oregon Food Bank distributes more than 1 million emergency food boxes annually.
  • In an average month, an estimated 260,000 people are receiving food from a food pantry in the Network.
  • The rate of food insecurity (being without access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food) in Oregon is 14.6%.
  • About 552,900 Oregonians are food insecure, of those 194,070 are children.
  • About 72% of the people who receive food have incomes below the federal poverty level.
  • Of households utilizing food pantries, about 80% of them are able to meet their food needs for the month with the help of a pantry.

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