Help with the Basics: Give $30 for hunger, housing and heat this winter

Media Contact: Melissa Moore, NW Natural; melissa.moore@nwnatural.com, 503-220-2436 or 503-818-9845 (pager)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 15, 2013

 

Help with the Basics: Give $30 for hunger, housing and heat this winter

Join NW Natural in giving to Oregon Food Bank and United Way to help others meet basic needs

PORTLAND, Ore. — Northwest Natural Gas Company, dba NW Natural (NYSE:NWN), Oregon Food Bank and United Way of the Columbia-Willamette today launch the “Help with the Basics” campaign and ask you to give $30 to help those less fortunate afford food, housing and heat this winter.

When you donate $30, $10 will go to Oregon Food Bank, $10 to United Way’s Community Relief Fund to assist with housing and $10 to NW Natural’s Gas Assistance Program. NW Natural is making a $10,000 matching donation from its shareholder’s Corporate Philanthropy Fund.

“Winter can be an extremely hard time for people who are struggling to just meet the basic needs in life. That’s why we are joining with two of the area’s most respected organizations to try and help address these needs together,” said Gregg Kantor, president and CEO of NW Natural.

Nearly 15 percent of Oregonians live below the poverty level according to the US Census Bureau. In an average month during the last year, the Oregon Food Bank estimates 270,000 people in Oregon and Clark County, Wash., ate meals from emergency food boxes, (up 10,000 from 2010). Of those, almost 92,000 were children.

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

On any given night, more than 8,500 people in our community are homeless, according to Portland Pulse. Many are families with children.

“When families can afford food, housing and heat, it positively impacts our whole community,” said Keith Thomajan, president and CEO of United Way of the Columbia-Willamette. “Kids can focus on doing well in school, parents are able to concentrate on working to support their family and they can stay healthy. We appreciate every donation and our partnership with NW Natural and Oregon Food Bank.”

Donations can be made now through March 30 at www.unitedway-pdx.org/basics, or by mailing a check to:

Help With the Basics
United Way
619 SW 11th Ave. Suite 300
Portland, OR 97205

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. Since 1982, Oregon Food Bank has been leading the fight against hunger in Oregon and Clark County, Wash., by collecting and distributing food through a network of four OFB branches and 16 independent regional food banks. 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

United Way of the Columbia-Willamette harnesses the collective power of individual generosity to build strong, connected and engaged communities. We have the tools and the know-how to connect people in need with the building blocks for a stable and healthy life - education, financial stability and health and well-being. Your support creates change. Your gift to United Way - whether it’s money, your time or your voice - guarantees a more united community for us all.

About NW Natural

NW Natural (NYSE:NWN) is headquartered in Portland, Ore., and provides natural gas service to about 681,000 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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