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Guest Post by Extensis Sr. HR Generalist, Carli Edvalson

Still suffering from record high unemployment, it’s no surprise that hunger is rampant in Oregon, but did you know that we rank 2nd in the Nation, only behind Mississippi, in hunger statistics? These difficult economic times have forced record numbers of Oregonians to seek emergency food.   240,000 people per month eat meals from emergency food boxes. Of those, 36 percent are children. These statistics were enough to inspire Extensis employees to get involved in the fight against hunger.

In a coordinated group effort, 10 Extensis employees volunteered to spend a Thursday afternoon bagging apples at the Oregon Food Bank, and whether we were motivated by genuine charitable intentions or just needed an excuse to get out of the office, what resulted was a rare opportunity to socialize with our peers while contributing to a greater good, and a valuable learning experience.

Our session commenced with a tour of the Oregon Food Bank, where we quickly realized this was more than just a food distribution warehouse. Who knew that the Oregon Food Bank had a massive and lush organic garden, harvested by community groups and offering gardening workshops to at-risk youth? Or that they offer nutrition education courses to low-income groups that include grocery shopping trips and cooking lessons taught by local chefs that volunteer their time? The Oregon Food Bank is overall, a very impressive operation, doing more good for more people that one might imagine.

We joined over 50 other volunteers packing apples that day. The Extensis team contributed to the overall total of 14,901 pounds of apples…enough food to provide 11,462 meals for people in need…leading me to borrow from Matt Damon’s memorable line in the film Good Will Hunting, “How ya like them apples?”

There are endless ways to help fight hunger…to learn more, visit www.oregonfoodbank.org

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