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Companies Sign On to Fight Hunger in OR

September 28, 2009

TIGARD, Ore. - It takes a whole community to meet growing needs for emergency food and shelter, and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is finding corporations in Oregon are willing to do their part, even if they're not headquartered in the state. This week, "You Dine, We Donate" is a drive to collect canned soup for hunger relief.

This Wednesday, for instance, anyone who brings two cans of soup to a Cheesecake Factory will get a free slice of cheesecake. Sharon Hills, executive director with the Portland Council of St. Vincent de Paul, says such sponsorships get the word out to more potential donors.

"It shows community support, and how they care about their own. It also increases the in-kind donations that we are able to get, such as food. And food, right now, is critical."

What many people don't know is that every week, Cheesecake Factory locations donate their extra food to charities. Mark Hunter, who manages the Washington Square mall restaurant near Portland, says it has also been a morale-builder for the staff.

"They get behind anything that we do like this, because it just is the right thing to do for the community, and it's - you know, for people that really need it."

The restaurants are well on their way to collecting 100,000 cans of soup across the country. St. Vincent de Paul has locations in seven cities here in Oregon, and the Portland Council alone has already distributed almost two million pounds of food, and more than one million dollars in rent and utility assistance, this year.

Details about the sponsors and promotions are on the St. Vincent de Paul Web site,
www.svdppdx.org

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR