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Bring On the Syrup!

January 4, 2008

Pendleton, OR – This morning it's pancakes for Pendleton, but soon flapjacks will be on the menu in thousands of homes across Oregon, thanks to the state's wheat growers. They've combined efforts to donate 1,600 bushels of wheat to fight hunger, part of an effort by "Farmers Against Hunger." The grain was milled in Pendleton into 90,000 pounds of pancake mix, which will be distributed to Oregon Food Bank locations starting today.

Tom Winn, of the Oregon Wheat Foundation, says the group hopes to prompt other Oregonians to do their part to fight hunger.

"Anybody, be it a working person, a farmer or a retired person, can make a difference. If they just think about it, take a minute to do it, anybody can do it."

Winn says the group has donated in past years, but today's amount is at least double what they've been able to collect before. Gov. Ted Kulongoski has urged more Oregonians to support their local food banks this year. He says federal food donations have decreased 60 percent over the past three years, while the need continues to climb.

According to Winn, the group wanted to make a statement with its gigantic donation in order to keep hunger top-of-mind after the holidays.

"You've got to keep reminding folks about the need that's out there and how they can help. That's really how this particular donation has come about, through just telling the grower community that this need is there. Then folks have stepped up to help and make it happen."

It's estimated that the wheat growers' donation will make almost 1.9 million pancakes.

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR