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Food and Supplies Critical Issue in Storm Aftermath

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 By Dondrea Warner/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - OR, Contact
December 10, 2007

Portland, OR - Putting food on the table has gotten tougher for the many Oregonians hit by last week's storm, but the increased demand for food also will be felt statewide as supplies are sent to the stricken area.

As cleanup continues, hunger relief agencies are pleading for help. The Oregon Food Bank Network is calling on communities to help meet the increased need caused by power outages, flooding and other losses. Jean Kempe-Ware with the Food Bank says food supplies are diminished already, and she predicts that demand will remain high for some time.

"People are trying to get their lives back together, to get their homes back together, to make up for job loss, and will be for the next few months. Although we see a strong outpouring right now, we know we're going to need the public to continue to help us."

At the same time the Oregon Food Bank is rushing aid to the 140 Food Bank Network agencies in the storm-damaged areas, the agency continues to provide food to the rest of the state network. Oregon Food Bank serves about 200,000 people every month.

Kempe-Ware says the lack of electrical power makes the food insecurity worse.

"They can't cook food. We know from past floods that as soon as the electricity goes on, people need food."

Information about donating food and other assistance is available online at www.oregonfoodbank.org.

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