Campaign helps those less fortunate afford food, housing and heat

Northwest Natural Gas Company, the Oregon Food Bank and United Way of the Columbia-Willamette launched the “Help With the Basics” campaign. Community members are asked to donate $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,” said Gregg Kantor, president and CEO of NW Natural. “That’s why we are joining with two of the area’s most respected organizations to try and help address these needs together.”

Nearly 15 percent of Oregonians live below the poverty level, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. On any given night, more than 8,500 people 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 or by mailing a check to: Help With the Basics, United Way, 619 SW 11th Ave., suite 300, Portland, OR 97205.

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