Multnomah County

Key Organizations and Activities

The City of Portland has a Sustainable Food Program website listing farmers’ markets and CSA farms. The City completed an Urban Food Zoning Code Update in 2012. A Portland/Multnomah County Food Policy Council was active from 2002 to 2012, which published a number of reports and recommendations, and advised development of both the Portland Plan and the Multnomah Food Action Plan published in 2010. The Portland Plan includes a background report on food systems and a set of food systems maps. The Multnomah Food Action Plan website also includes a background report, reports from four “Food Summits” held from 2010 to 2013, and a list of related assessments and resources. Portland State University and partners also published a “Growing a Sustainable Portland Metropolitan Foodshed” report in 2012.

Multnomah County is also home to a large number of organizations focused on different aspects of food work. These include organizations focused on food access and farm/garden education, such as Growing Gardens, Grow Portland, Friends of Zenger Farm, Outgrowing Hunger, and Village Gardens. MercyCorps Northwest offers access to land and training for refugee farmers through Refuge Gardens. The East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District operates a 60-acre farm incubator. Kitchen Commons supports a network of community kitchens. Hacienda CDC offers a Micro Mercantes program with access to commissary kitchens and training for Latino food entrepreneurs, and operates the Portland Mercado which hosts 40 primarily food-based businesses. Ecotrust, a statewide organization based in Portland, links farmers and commercial food buyers through its Food Hub website. Recently completed an Oregon Food Infrastructure Gap Analysis, and is redeveloping two city blocks into a regional food business center. An effort is also underway to develop the James Beard Public Market in downtown Portland, which is intended to house more than 90 local food and beverage vendors.

Community Goals and Recommendations

The background report on food systems for the Portland Plan noted, “The City of Portland currently lacks a Comprehensive Plan goal or policies regarding food systems and food access.” The Portland Plan did ultimately set a goal to “Expand access to healthy, affordable food by supporting the viability of grocery stores, local markets and community gardens in neighborhood centers,” and references healthy eating and improving health outcomes.

The Multnomah Food Action Plan contains 16 goals and 65 proposed actions nested in four subject areas, including:

  • Local Food: Increase viable local options in our food system
  • Healthy Eating: Make the healthy choice an easier choice for all
  • Social Equity: Build systemic justice, health, and food security
  • Economic Vitality: Promote a thriving local economy

However, in the more than five years since the two plans were published, neither the city nor the county has offered a comprehensive update on progress in food systems development efforts. With the dissolution of the Portland/Multnomah Food Policy Council in 2012, there is also not a clear voice calling for public attention, a comprehensive approach and on-going investment in food systems. A collaborative education and advocacy effort by the many farm and food organizations in Multnomah County could help maintain food systems as a public priority.

GENERAL INFORMATION
POPULATION Oregon Multnomah
Population (2007) 3,745,455 710,025
Population (2014) 3,962,710 765,775
Population change from 2007 to 2014 6%   8%
ESTIMATED SPENDING ON FOOD (WESTERN REGION) Oregon Multnomah
2007 ($6,811 per household – average 2.6 persons) $9,811,651,540 $1,859,992,413
2014 ($7,175 per household – average 2.6 persons) $10,935,555,481 $2,113,244,471
Change from 2007 to 2014 11%   14%
FOOD ACCESS AND INSECURITY
SUPERMARKETS AND GROCERY STORES Oregon Multnomah
2007 Grocery Stores 751 122
2013 Grocery Stores 768 160
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 2.3%   31.1%
2007 Citizens Per Grocery Store 4,987 5,820
2013 Citizens Per Grocery Store 5,103 4,728
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 2.3%   -18.8%
OTHER SPECIALTY FOOD STORES Oregon Multnomah
2007 394 82
2013 366 88
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 -7.1%   7.3%
LOW INCOME AND LOW ACCESS TO A GROCERY STORE Oregon Multnomah
2006 Percentage 1.0% 0.0%
2006 People Affected 36,785 5
2010 Percentage (latest data available) 5.0% 3.8%
2010 People Affected 195,215 28,078
Percentage Change 2006 to 2010 404.3%  
AVERAGE COST OF A MEAL Oregon Multnomah
2009 (National Cost: $2.54) $2.60 $2.72
2013 (National Cost: $2.79) $2.77 $3.06
Percentage Change 2009 to 2013 6.5%   12.5%
INDIVIDUALS BELOW THE POVERTY LEVEL Oregon Multnomah
2009 (5-year estimates 2005-2009) 13.6% 15.5%
2014 (5-year estimates 2010-2014) 16.7% 18.5%
Percentage Change 2009 to 2012 22.8%   19.4%
FOOD INSECURITY RATE Oregon Multnomah
2009 16.8% 17.0%
2013 15.8% 15.9%
Percentage Change 2009 to 2013 -6.0%   -6.5%
SNAP PARTICIPATION RATE Oregon Multnomah
2009 68% 71%
2013 73% 78%
Percentage Change 2009 to 2013 7.4%   9.9%
FARMERS MARKETS ACCEPTING SNAP BENEFITS Oregon Multnomah
2015 Farmers Markets 172 30
2015 Farmers Markets Accepting SNAP 84 16
Percent of Total 49%   53%
COMMUNITY CAPACITY
Oregon Multnomah
Community Food System Assessment Completed Y
Food System Council or Working Group Formed and Active N
Food System Plan Published Y
Dedicated Local Food Organization(s) (beyond food assistance) Y
COMMUNITY GARDENS Oregon Multnomah
2014 Number of Community Garden Sites >158 51
2014 Number of Garden Plots Unknown 1500
2014 Citizens Per Garden Site <24,804 14,834
NUMBER OF SCHOOL GARDENS Oregon Multnomah
2007 Number of School Gardens 161 44
Number of Schools Included 1,262 175
Percentage of Schools Reported to Have a Garden 12.8% 25.1%
2014 Number of School Gardens (new data as of 1/25/2015) 582 112
Number of Schools Included 1,174 169
Percentage of Schools Reported to Have a Garden 49.6% 66.3%
Percentage Change 2007 to 2014 261.5%   154.5%
Access to Seed to Supper/Master Gardeners or Equivalent Y
Access to Cooking Matters or Equivalent Y
FARM BASE
LAND IN FARMS Oregon Multnomah
2002: Total Land in Farms 17,080,422 34,329
2012: Total Land in Farms 16,301,578 29,983
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -4.6%   -12.7%
AVERAGE COST PER ACRE Oregon Multnomah
2002: Average Cost per Acre $1,202 $10,876
2012: Average Cost per Acre $1,882 $11,928
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 56.6%   9.7%
NUMBER OF FARMS BY SALES RANGE Oregon Multnomah
2002: Total Farms 40,033 710
2012: Total Farms 35,439 598
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -11.5%   -15.8%
2002: Farms with Sales <$25,000 31,564 552
2012: Farms with Sales <$25,000 26,835 481
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -15.0%   -12.9%
2002: Farm with Sales $25,000 to $99,999 4282 86
2012: Farms with Sales $25,000 to $99,999 3958 60
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -7.6%   -30.2%
2002: Farms with Sales $100,000 to $249,999 1935 26
2012: Farms with Sales $100,000 to $249,999 1,755 29
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -9.3%   11.5%
2002: Farms with Sales >$250,000 2252 46
2012: Farms with Sales >$250,000 2891 28
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 28.4%   -39.1%
FARMS WITH TYPICAL LOCAL FOOD CROPS Oregon Multnomah
2002: Vegetables, melons, potatoes, and sweet potatoes 1708 60
2012: Vegetables, melons, potatoes, and sweet potatoes 1889 84
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 10.6%   40.0%
2002: Fruits, tree nuts, berries 5659 141
2012: Fruits, tree nuts, berries 5245 117
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -7.3%   -17.0%
2002: Poultry and eggs (all poultry) 4588 87
2012: Poultry and eggs (all poultry) 6054 122
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 32.0%   40.2%
2002: Cattle and calves (farm with sales) 13654 138
2012: Cattle and calves (farm with sales) 11,638 116
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -14.8%   -15.9%
2002: Milk cows (farms with inventory) 1133 6
2012: Milk cows (farms with inventory) 686 3
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -39.5%   -50.0%
2002: Hogs and pigs (farms with sales) 1558 18
2012: Hogs and pigs   (farms with sales) 1172 25
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -24.8%   38.9%
2002: Sheep and goats 3219 45
2012: Sheep and goats 2810 33
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -12.7%   -26.7%
FARMS WITH TYPICAL LOCAL FOOD CROPS Oregon Multnomah
2002: Total Farms Raising Typical Local Food Crops 31,519 495
2012: Total Farms Raising Typical Local Food Crops 29,494 500
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 -6.4%   1.0%
FOOD CROP DIVERSITY Oregon Multnomah
2007 Number of Different Vegetable, Potato, and/or Melon Crops 42 33
2007 Number of Different Fruit, Berries, Nut Crops 27 21
2007 Number of Different Grain or Cereal Crops 16 4
2007 TOTAL FOOD CROPS 85   58
2007 Average # of different food crops 35 Greater Than
2012 Number of Different Vegetable, Potato, and/or Melon Crops 42 33
2012 Number of Different Fruit, Berries, Nut Crops 27 22
2012 Number of Different Grain or Cereal Crops 16 5
2012 TOTAL FOOD CROPS 85   60
Percentage Change in Total Crops from 2007 to 2012 0.0%   3.4%
2012 Average # of different food crops 38 Greater Than
Percentage Change in Average # of crops from 2007 to 2012 8.6%
NUMBER OF ORGANIC FARMS Oregon Multnomah
2002: Organic Farms 515 18
2012: Organic Farms 554 20
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 7.6%   11.1%
AVERAGE AGE OF FARMERS Oregon Multnomah
2002: Average Age 54.9 54.5
2012: Average Age 59.6 58.5
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 8.6%   7.3%
FARM EMPLOYMENT Oregon Multnomah
2007 67,222 1,460
2014 61,967 1,417
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 -7.8%   -2.9%
TOTAL FARM COMPENSATION Oregon Multnomah
2007 $1,020,772,000 $36,324,000
2014 $1,109,671,000 $31,599,000
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 8.7%   -13.0%
AVERAGE ANNUAL COMPENSATION PER FARM JOB Oregon Multnomah
2007 $15,185 $24,879
2014 $17,907 $22,300
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 17.9%   -10.4%
MARKET LINKAGES
FARMS WITH ON-FARM PACKING FACILITY Oregon Multnomah
2012: Number of Farms 761 24
2012 Percent of Farms with Packing Facilities 2.1%   4.0%
FARMS THAT PRODUCED AND SOLD VALUE-ADDED Oregon Multnomah
2007: Number of Farms 2,807 38
2012: Number of Farms 3,292 66
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 17.3%   73.7%
2012 Percent of Farms Selling Value-Added 9.3% 11.0%
SALES TO INDIVIDUALS FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION Oregon Multnomah
2002: Number of Farms Reporting Direct Sales 6383 152
2012: Number of Farms Reporting Direct Sales 6,680 190
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 4.7%   25.0%
2012 Percent of Farms Selling Directly 18.8% 31.8%
2002: Total Reported Direct Sales $21,411,000 $992,000
2012: Total Reported Direct Sales $44,177,000 $3,807,000
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 106.3%   283.8%
2002 Average Direct Sales per Participating Farm $3,354.38 $6,526.32
2012 Average Direct Sales per Participating Farm $6,613.32 $20,036.84
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 97.2%   207.0%
2002 Farm Direct Sales per Capita $6.11 $1.48
2012 Farm Direct Sales per Capita $11.37 $5.09
Percentage Change 2002 to 2012 86.2%   243.7%
FARMS MARKETING PRODUCTS THROUGH A CSA Oregon Multnomah
2007 Marketed through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) 311 6
2012 Marketed through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) 391 31
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 25.7%   416.7%
2012 Percent of Farms Selling Through CSA 1.1% 5.2%
NUMBER OF FARMERS MARKETS Oregon Multnomah
2009 Farmers Markets (Data from ERS Food Environment Atlas) 100 23
2015 Farmers Markets 172 30
Percentage Change from 2009 to 2015 72%   30%
2009 Citizens Per Farmers Market 38,235 31,508
2015 Citizens Per Farmers’ Market 23,039 25,526
Percentage Change 2009 to 2015 -39.7%   -19.0%
SCHOOL DISTRICTS PURCHASING LOCAL FOOD Oregon Multnomah
2014-2015 School Year (ODE Grantee list) 130 10
Number of School Districts 202 9
Percent of Districts Reporting Purchases of Local Food 64%   111%
FARMS MARKETING DIRECT TO RETAIL Oregon Multnomah
2007 No Data
2012 1,898 93
2012 Percent of Farms Selling Direct to Retail 5.4%   15.6%
NUMBER OF SOLE PROPRIETOR FOOD BUSINESSES (NAICS 311) Oregon Multnomah
2007 467 81
2013 753 168
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 61.24%   107.41%
TOTAL NUMBER OF FOOD PROCESSOR EMPLOYERS (NAICS 311) Oregon Multnomah
2007 498 113
2013 548 133
Percentage Change 2007 to 2012 10.0%   17.7%
2007 FOOD PROCESSORS BY NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES Oregon Multnomah
1-4 Employees 163 34
5-9 Employees 88 14
10-19 Employees 78 16
20-49 Employees 80 29
50-99 Employees 42 6
100-249 Employees 28 10
More than 250 Employees 19 4
2007 Total Processor Employment 19,582 4493
Ranges for non-disclosed data
2007 Total Processor Payroll $686,511,000 $171,404,000
2013 FOOD PROCESSORS BY NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES Oregon Multnomah
1-4 Employees 202 54
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 23.9%   58.8%
5-9 Employees 110 19
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 25.0%   35.7%
10-19 Employees 70 17
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 -10.3%   6.3%
20-49 Employees 69 19
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 -13.8%   -34.5%
50-99 Employees 41 10
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 -2.4%   66.7%
100-249 Employees 37 10
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 32.1%   0.0%
More than 250 Employees 19 4
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 0.0%   0.0%
2013 Total Processor Employment 21,661 4881
Ranges for non-disclosed data
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 10.6%   8.6%
2013 Total Processor Payroll $848,004,000 $199,984,000
Percentage Change 2007 to 2013 23.5%   16.7%