Demand at area food banks has increased an estimated 30 percent from this time last year. With the increase in region-wide unemployment, more and more families are struggling to put food on the table.
“Hunger doesn’t stop after the holidays,” said Western States President Tom Harris. “Western States is committed to giving back to the communities in which we live and serve. We are launching the ’Dump Hunger’ campaign as a way to rally our employees and customers together to re-stock the warehouses of our area food banks.”
On Dec. 29, Western States Equipment launched ’Dump Hunger,’ a six-week food drive that partners 13 Western States branch locations with local food banks within their community. The post-holiday timing of Dump Hunger is critical for food banks as January and February marks the lowest levels of food donation.
Terry Graves, food resources manager of Idaho Foodbank, said that they are facing an unprecedented need. They foresee a 30 percent increase in need over and above the 27 percent increase from last year.
“Food pantries also serve families and individuals that are working and don’t earn enough to meet all of their basic needs,” said Graves. “Most people use a food pantry for about six months to help them through a rough financial period, they are not permanent recipients.”
Due to the increased need, Western States has set a goal of gathering 150,000 lbs. of food, an increase over 116,000 from last year.
“We understand that food pantries are empty in January,” said Harris. “In addition to increasing our goal for gathering more food, Western States will contribute $1 for every 5 pounds of food collected, up to a $17,000 dollar match.”
“We are excited to partner with Western States again this year for Dump Hunger,” said Graves. “Based on the success from last year, we were able to feed hundreds of families. We look forward to seeing how Western States and the community Dump Hunger again this year.”
Dump Hunger seeks to secure enough food to fill the bed of two Cat 730 dump trucks, the industry’s largest payload vehicle in its class, each truck capable of holding 75,000 lbs. of food. Donations to the campaign can be brought to any of the Western States branch locations.
For more information on Dump Hunger campaign and Western States branch locations, visit www.westernstatescat.com.
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