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DHS news release

Meeting notice

April 30, 2004

News conference Tuesday, May 4

Contact: Jim Sellers (503) 945-5738

USDA official to highlight Oregon's, Salem schools' food-stamp outreach efforts


Story: Federal, state and nonprofit officials will share encouraging statewide results of Oregon's efforts to increase participation in the federal Food Stamp Program, and talk about the importance of initiatives such as that in three Salem-Keizer elementary schools. A Salem-Keizer School District-Willamette University partnership was among 19 federal grant recipients in 2002 to strengthen food-stamp outreach efforts at three low-income schools, an initiative that is transferable to other schools.

Who: Speaking at the news conference will be:

•Eric M. Bost, USDA under secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services.

•Erinn Kelley-Siel, health and human services policy adviser to Gov. Ted Kulongoski, who has made fighting hunger a top priority.

•Gary K. Weeks, director, Oregon Department of Human Services. DHS manages the Food Stamp Program in Oregon.

•Patti Whitney-Wise, executive director, Oregon Hunger Relief Task Force.

Also: Students may be photographed at the school. And a school member and DHS representatives who have worked closely with the outreach program will be available to tell about the impact of food-stamp outreach on families.

When: Tuesday, May 4, at 10:30 a.m.

Where: Richmond Elementary School, 466 Richmond Ave., S.E., Salem. Phone at the site: (503) 399-3180. Directions to the school: From S.E. State Street, turn south onto 23rd Street, then left (east) onto Trade Street, then right (south) onto Richmond Street, then one block to the school.

Why: USDA data identified Oregon as among the nation's hungriest states in 2000-02. A cooperative initiative to increase food-stamp participation began several years ago, and Governor Kulongoski has made hunger relief a top priority.