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Dairy farmers, Newhouse form statewide radio campaign to help gather food for the needy

Radio listeners across Washington are now hearing State Agriculture Director Dan Newhouse underline the importance of donating food and cash to help feed the hungry.

Helping those in need has been a cause that Newhouse has supported long before the former Sunnyside state representative and farmer was appointed agriculture director in 2009 by Gov. Chris Gregoire.

The new radio message was arranged by the Dairy Farmers of Washington, who earlier this year launched a partnership with Northwest Harvest to encourage donations of food, cash and goods to the less fortunate.

The 60-second public service announcement opens by referencing Washington's two largest agricultural commodities - apples and dairy products.

But despite the bounty produced by the state's agriculture sector, hunger is still a major problem.

"One in five Washington residents will visit a food bank this year," says Newhouse in the public service announcement. "The [Washington state agriculture] department distributes 20 million pounds of food to nutrition programs, but it won't be enough to reach everyone."

Northwest Harvest, which began 43 years ago, is the only non-profit food bank distributor operating statewide in Washington with a network of more than 325 food banks, meal programs and high need schools.

Last year alone, 25 million lbs. of food was distributed by Northwest Harvest, setting a record and allowing them to serve an unprecedented number of hungry people.

"Dairy farmers are conducting food drives and raising money in support of Northwest Harvest, which provides food to people in need across our state," continues Newhouse. "Right now the need is great, so if you can help them out, please donate."

The Newhouse/Northwest Harvest spot began airing last week and will be heard periodically on radio stations across Washington.

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