YEON Tires

Hermiston FFA members teamed up with the local Les Schwab Tire Center to collect food donations for Drive Away Hunger, an initiative to provide for those in need during the holiday season.

UMATILLA COUNTY — Members of Oregon FFA, Les Schwab Tire Center, Wilco and Grange Co-op locations across the state recently collected food donations for those in need this holiday season.

As many Oregon residents struggle to have enough food, the groups geared up during the month of October to #DriveAwayHunger. A total of 580,084 pounds of food was brought in. The amount equals 435,171 meals to help those in need this holiday season, said Christa Carlon, stewardship officer with the Oregon FFA Foundation.

Oregon FFA and Les Schwab Tire Centers have partnered on the Drive Away Hunger initiative since 2015. Each year, FFA members, advisors, volunteers, and partnering stores and newspapers across Oregon have worked together to grow the impact of the effort. Also, EO Media Group and the Capital Press distributed collection bags.

Oregon FFA CEO Shawn Dooley said the food drive provides FFA members with ways to contribute to their communities while also developing new skills. Throughout the month, FFA chapters did everything from harvesting food from local farms to hosting events where admission required a donation of nonperishable food items or cash for the effort.

“In the process, they learn about food insecurity in their own communities and the importance of volunteering and philanthropy,” Dooley said.

Most of the food raised through Drive Away Hunger will be distributed by the Oregon Food Bank Network and will remain in the communities in which it was donated.

“This time of year is one for hope and joy, and we hope that is what those in need feel as they receive the food we have been able to provide through this initiative,” Carlon said.

For more information, contact Carlon at 541-905-3295, or visit the Oregon FFA Facebook page.

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