Published online: Dec 23, 2008 Western States Equipment Company
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Campaign seeks 75,000 pounds of food to support local communities. 

December 22, 2008 (MERIDIAN, Idaho) - With foodbanks across the region facing increased demand and a drop in donations, Western States Equipment Company today announced the launch of a "Dump Hunger" campaign in partnership with local food banks in each of their branch locations in Idaho, Montana, Washington, Oregon and Wyoming.  

The company-wide campaign runs through Jan. 23, 2009, and seeks to secure enough food to fill the bed of a Caterpillar 730 dump truck, the industry's largest payload vehicle in its class, capable of holding 75,000 pounds of food.

Donations to the campaign can be brought to any Western States Cat location throughout their territory.

"We could not sit idly by while foodbank pantries in our community are running bare," said Western States president Tom Harris.

Harris said the "Dump Hunger" campaign originated when the company chose to forgo its annual holiday lunch and instead support this effort to help those in need. 

Area food banks estimate a 30 percent increase in demand from this time last year, while donations have dropped 38 percent from corporate food producers who are increasingly clearing out merchandise through dollar stores and discount outlets. 

Food resource manager of the Idaho Foodbank Terry Graves said that without the help of partners such as Western States, meeting demand for holiday meals would be extremely difficult.

"Our pantry stocks are far too low to carry us through the winter, so Western States' help couldn't have come at a better time. We are truly grateful."

Over the next thirty days, the "Dump Hunger" campaign welcomes donations of non-perishable food items from Western States employees, customers and the general public.

Western States will also match the dollar value of all the food collected with a cash donation of up to $15,000.

"Hunger doesn't stop at Christmas," said Harris. "We hope the community remembers this season as one of charity and goodwill. We're just doing our small part to make sure everyone has food after the holidays and into 2009." 

For more information, including Dump Hunger campaign pictures and a weekly Dump Hunger Tracker, visit www.westernstatescat.com.