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Your New Year's Day editorial posting (from The Oregonian) alerting us to "a wretched year in Oregon hunger" was much appreciated. It is, indeed, alarming to see the astounding rise in the need for emergency food supplies and how thinly stretched are the agencies attempting to fill the need.

It was that same concern that caught the attention of a group of people in Ashland, exactly two years ago. There seemed to be a good system in place for the distribution of food, but not a good way to collect the amount of food needed. To help remedy this problem locally, we created the Ashland Food Project, a neighbor-to-neighbor, community-based food collection system that has been overwhelmingly successful.

What we have created is simple: You buy one extra item each week when you shop, store it in a cloth bag that we give you and, then, every two months, a neighborhood volunteer comes by your house to pick it up. That's it.

In 2010, the AFP delivered more than 105,000 pounds of food to our local food bank. There is currently an enthusiastic group of Medford citizens forming the Medford Food Project. Please go to www.medfordfoodproject.com to find out more. — Paul Giancarlo, Ashland Food Project

We as consumers have a short memory. From 1996 to 1999, GM produced an electric plug-in vehicle, the EV1. It was a very reliable product with a more than acceptable range of 40 to 80 miles per charge! Living in Medford I only drive about 20 to 35 miles a day. As do most, I would think.

These cars were well built and relatively problem free. None were sold to the public, only leased with the commitment that all would be returned to the factory and none made available to the general public.

Why all were recalled and crushed and the program disbanded is debated to this day — pressure from the oil companies, reduced sales of gas cars are the most plausible reasons. The public only gets what it demands. The new Nissan plug-in I believe will be the start of the electric car revolution.

I'm hoping they make a little pickup! — V. Handel, Medford

VFW Post 1833 and Ladies Auxiliary would like to thank all who attended our Christmas dinner and all the toys and diapers that were donated. The Maslow Project was very appreciative.

Wishing all a happy 2011; hope to see you at the meetings. — Muriel Gallo and Jim Hanley, Medford