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Citywide food drive a first for West Linn

March was declared Citywide Food Drive Month in West Linn

The words 'can't do it' are not to be found in Ellen Worcester's vocabulary.

The West Linn mother continues to be moved by the plight of families that are forced by circumstances to ask for food at the West Linn Food Pantry and the Oregon Food Bank.

She and her family want to help, but they're not going into this project alone. No, it will not be just one family doing its part to help feed the hungry.

Worcester wants the entire city of West Linn - its residents, businesses, civic organizations, school district and chamber of commerce - to be involved.

When completed, this effort will be a first for the entire state, according to a spokesperson for the Oregon Food Bank.

'West Linn will make history,' Worcester said, 'by showing what we can achieve when an entire city sets its sights on helping others.

'This is the first-ever example in Oregon of an entire city dedicating itself to raising awareness about hunger and joining to collect canned food and monetary donations.'

With Worcester's leadership, the steering committee has organized the project with the full support of the city of West Linn, the West Linn-Wilsonville School District, West Linn Lions Club and the West Linn Chamber of Commerce as well as the West Linn Tidings. The most recent vote of confidence came Jan. 14, when the city council voted unanimously to proclaim the entire month of March as Citywide Food Drive Month in West Linn.

Now, she is asking for support from residents, civic organizations and individual businesses. During March, canned goods and money will be collected to benefit the efforts of the local food pantry and the larger work of the Oregon Food Bank.

More than 500 colorful posters will be printed and displayed throughout the city.

Not only will all the schools sponsor food drives, but also donation barrels will appear in retail stores and drive-through locations will be specified for drop-off of canned goods. In addition, Worcester said, donations will be gathered from business employees and club members, and several gala events will be scheduled as fund-raisers.

'We hope an equally-important result of this effort,' she said, 'will be enhancing community ties and a sense of a West Linn shared identity.'

How to help

WHAT: West Linn's first citywide food drive.

WHEN: The month of March

TO VOLUNTEER: Call 503-699-9698 or send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..