Portland’s Zidell Companies donated $150,000 Wednesday to the Oregon Food Bank to help fight childhood hunger. The money will be used to help establish two dozen new school-based food pantries by the end of 2015.

“Childhood hunger is a huge problem in Oregon,” said Susannah Morgan, the Oregon Food Bank’s chief executive officer. “Oregon is among the states with the highest rate of child food insecurity. These pantries will have the potential to reach an additional 1,250 families per month and distribute groceries for half-a-million meals per year.”

Zidell’s three-year pledge will fund a position at Oregon Food Bank (beginning at half-time and expanding to full time) to work with community partners to support existing programs and to establish additional sites covered by the food bank’s four branches, serving Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, Tillamook, Malheur and Harney counties. The gift also provides funds for food and operations (such as trucking and warehousing).

“This contribution, on behalf of employees at Zidell Marine, Zidell Yards and Tube Forgings of America Inc., commemorates the centenary of the arrival in Oregon of Sam Zidell, our founder and my grandfather,” said Charlene Zidell, director of corporate relations and communications, Zidell Companies. “For years, the Zidell family has supported Oregon Food Bank, and, now, with this gift we will be able to make a deeper impact and reach more families.”

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