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Oregon-Washington rematch set in fight against hunger

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For the second straight year, a friendly competition between Oregon and Washington gets underway in June that will help alleviate some of the hunger problems persisting in the Pacific Northwest:

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A month long food and cash drive is about to begin with hopes that farmers, retailers, and a donating public can top last year’s totals as part of the “Northwest Farmers Fighting Hunger” campaign. Oregon Department of Agriculture Director Katy Coba says there is a big need out there:

COBA:  “We know from statistics that we still have a very high population of hungry families in Oregon. We’re not the first in the nation anymore, that’s the good news. But we are still one of top states in the nation in terms of those who are hungry.”  :15

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Coba says most low income kids, during the school year, can receive breakfast and lunch at school. In the summer, that resource is not as available to many families:

COBA:  “All of us need to be more cognizant of the summer because we have so much fresh food available to us and just thinking about sharing some of that fresh food with those who are hungry.”  :12

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ODA and the Washington State Department of Agriculture are once again lending support to a determined effort that includes the Oregon and Washington Dairy Products Commissions as well as Fred Meyer stores, which will help promote the event and collect donations of food and cash all through June. Whichever state brings in the most, wins a trophy. But the real winners are Pacific Northwest families in need of food this summer. In Salem, I’m Bruce Pokarney.

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COBA says summer is a time for everyone to enjoy the incredible bounty of agriculture in Oregon and Washington, but it’s difficult for many families battling hunger:

“So summertime is also a time for us to focus on how we can continue to get nutritious and beneficial food to those in our state who do suffer from hunger on a daily basis.”  :10

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COBA says the June food drive organized by the Northwest Farmers Fighting Hunger initiative demonstrates the heart of ag producers in Oregon and Washington:

“These people care. They wouldn’t be farmers and ranchers if they didn’t. So they care about their land, they care about the high quality product they produce, they care about their livestock, and they care about making sure people who are hungry in our states can have access to the wonderful products they produce.”  :16

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