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News Releases: OFB General

The Zidell Companies donate $150,000 to fight childhood hunger

February 13, 2013
OFB General
Zidell donation fights childhood hunger Gift to help establish two dozen new school-based food pantries

Oregon Food Bank CEO Susannah Morgan, today announced a $150,000 gift from Zidell Companies to help fight childhood hunger.

“Childhood hunger is a huge problem in Oregon,” Morgan noted. “Oregon is among the states with the highest rate of child food insecurity. We thank Zidell Companies for this generous gift, which will support OFB’s goal of developing two dozen school-based food pantries by the end of 2015. These pantries will have the potential to reach an additional 1,250 families per month and distribute groceries for half-a-million meals per year.”

Gift commemorates founder Sam Zidell
“This contribution, on behalf of employees at Zidell Marine, Zidell Yards and Tube Forgings of America, Inc., commemorates the centenary of the arrival in Oregon of Sam Zidell, our founder and my grandfather,” said Charlene Zidell, director of corporate relations and communications, Zidell Companies.

“For years, the Zidell family has supported Oregon Food Bank, and, now, with this gift we will be able to make a deeper impact and reach more families,” she said. “We urge all Oregonians to do their part to eradicate childhood hunger in Oregon. A gift of $20 provides enough food for 66 nutritious meals. Together, we can – we must – end childhood hunger.”

The Zidell gift has already inspired a two-year pledge from Whole Foods Markets.

Current school-based programs
To help children and families better access food, Oregon Food Bank, in partnership with Multnomah County’s SUN Service System, successfully piloted and established, over the period from 2010-12, food pantries at six SUN Community Schools in low-income areas in Multnomah County.

“This gift is a tribute to the power of collaboration,” said Morgan. “These pantries show what we can accomplish when we work together for our children, families, schools and neighborhoods.”

“This gift will help expand access to emergency food services for children and families in communities facing significant challenges,” said Peggy Samolinski, division manager, SUN Service System.

Gift will help OFB establish new sites
Zidell’s three-year pledge will fund a position at Oregon Food Bank (beginning at half-time and expanding to full time) to work with community partners to support existing programs and to establish additional sites covered by OFB’s four branches, serving Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, Tillamook, Malheur and Harney counties. The gift also provides funds for food and operations (such as trucking and warehousing).

Current partners
Current partners include: SUN Service System, Multnomah County, Catholic Charities/El Programa Hispano (East Gresham Grade School), Impact NW (Kelly Elementary School), Metropolitan Family Service (Earl Boyles, Alder, Lynchview and Shaver elementary schools) and Grace Community Church.

About Oregon Food Bank
Oregon Food Bank believes no one should be hungry. With sufficient public will and support of the entire community, we believe it is possible to eliminate hunger and its root causes. Oregon Food Bank collects and distributes food through a network of four branches and 16 independent regional food banks serving Oregon and southwest Washington. The OFB Network helps nearly 1 in 5 households fend off hunger. OFB also leads statewide efforts to increase resources for hungry families and to eliminate the root causes of hunger through advocacy, nutrition education, garden education and helping communities strengthen local food systems. For more information, visit

ZidellAbout Zidell Companies
The Zidell Companies is a group of privately-owned companies based in Portland, Ore., emerging from a single company founded in 1916 by Sam Zidell. Today, the Zidell Companies comprise Zidell Marine, Zidell Yards and Tube Forgings of America, Inc. Since 1961, Zidell Marine has built more than 300 barges, a leader in its industry. Tube Forgings of America is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of precision carbon steel welding fittings. In 2012, Zidell Yards broke ground on the development of a 33-acre site on the Willamette River, the largest undeveloped site in Portland. For more information, visit;;

Charlene Zidell

A family receiving food at a school-based food pantry.

School-based food pantry

Charlene Zidell at today's announcement.

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