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Help with the basics by giving $30 for hunger, housing, and heat

January 6, 2014
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Join Oregon Food Bank, United Way and NW Natural to help others meet basic needs

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon Food Bank, United Way of the Columbia-Willamette and NW Natural are asking you to join them in raising money for hunger, housing and heat this winter.

In its second year, the “Help with the Basics” campaign asks you to donate $30. Ofthat, $10 will go to Oregon Food Bank, $10 to United Way’s Community Safety NetFund for housing and $10 to NW Natural’s Gas Assistance Program. Last year, the campaign raised more than $25,000. 

“Of course, people can donate more than $30 to help their neighbors in need. The funds will be split betweenthe three causes when the campaign ends. And all of it will help people meet basic needs,” Von Summers, NW Natural community affairs manager said. 

Forty percent of kids in our region live in low-income families according to the Census Bureau’s 2011 American Community Survey. In an average month duringthe last year, the Oregon Food Bank estimates 270,000 people in Oregon andClark County, Wash., ate meals from emergency food boxes, (up 10,000 from2010). Of those, almost 92,000 were children. 

“We are grateful for NW Natural’s and United Way’s collaboration to help those in need,” Susannah Morgan, CEO of Oregon Food Bank said. “Year-round community support is critica lbecause basic needs don’t take a holiday.” 

United Way focuses on breaking the cycle of childhood poverty in our region, and a strong safety net,including short-term rent and mortgage assistance, is a critical part of that. 

“Families in crisis need basic services like food, housing and heat so they can get through tough times and focus on moving toward a better life,” Keith Thomajan, president and CEO of United Way of the Columbia-Willamette said. “We appreciate every donation and our partnership with NW Natural and Oregon Food Bank.” 

Donations can be made now through Feb. 28 at www.unitedway-pdx.org/basics. 

About Oregon Food Bank

Oregon Food Bank believes no one should be hungry. With sufficient public will andsupport of the entire community, we believe it is possible to eliminate hungerand its root causes. Since 1982, Oregon Food Bank has been leading the fightagainst hunger in Oregon and Clark County, Wash., by collecting and distributingfood through a network of four OFB branches and 17 independent regional foodbanks. 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. 

About United Way of the Columbia-Willamette

At United Way of Columbia-Willamette, we have a simple, ambitious vision—to make our home a better place for everyone. We bringour leadership, expertise and resources together throughout our region tochange the education, health and economic outcomes for kids in low-incomefamilies. We can break the cycles that trap children in poverty and movechildren and families toward better lives. You can give, you can advocate and you can volunteer to build a stronger community—we are better together. www.unitedway-pdx.org. 

About NW Natural
NW Natural (NYSE:NWN) is headquartered in Portland, Ore., and provides natural gas service to about 689,000 residential,commercial, and industrial customers in Oregon and Southwest Washington. It is the largest independent natural gas utility in the Pacific Northwest.Additional information is available at www.nwnatural.com.

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Media Contacts:

Pat Kaczmarek, Oregon Food Bank
pkaczmarek@oregonfoodbank.org

Megan Nugent, United Way of the Columbia-Willamette
MeganN@Unitedway-pdx.org

Melissa Moore, NW Natural
melissa.moore@nwnatural.com

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