Award-Winning Author to Sign and Read to Fight Hunger.

Dec. 27, 2006 – (Olympia, Washington) — Noah Ashenhurst will read from and sign copies of his debut novel “Comfort Food” at Orca Books, 509 4th Ave. E., Olympia, starting at 7 P.M. on Saturday, January 27, 2007. Attendees are asked to bring nonperishable food items to donate to Thurston County Food Bank (TCFB). Mr. Ashenhurst will also donate two dollars for each of his novels sold at the event to TCFB to help fight hunger.

The Thurston County Food Bank serves over 22,000 households annually, and 49,000 people accessed the food bank in 2005, roughly one eighth of Thurston County’s population. Half of those helped were children.

According to Volunteers of America, Western Washington, Washington State has the 5th highest hunger rate in the United States, forty percent of the people served through food banks are children, and 1 out of 6 children, or 280,000, are at risk of going hungry. Hungry and sick children are adversely affected in many ways, especially in their ability to learn and play.

“The issue of hunger is underappreciated for those privileged enough to never have to worry about it, while for others it is a day-to-day reality,” said Noah Ashenhurst. “I wanted to do something to give back to the community. As individuals, problems seem overwhelming, but together we can make real change. There are too many people dependent on food banks for us to become complacent.”

Noah Ashenhurst received his BA from Western Washington University and his teaching credentials from the University of Colorado. He grew up in Boulder, Colorado, worked in a salmon cannery in Alaska, has traveled to Budapest and Prague, and worked summers as a finish carpenter. He is currently a teacher at North Mason High School in Belfair, Washington, an MFA candidate at the Rainier Writing Workshop, Pacific Lutheran University, and is working on his second novel.

“Comfort Food: A Novel,” winner of the 2006 Independent Publisher Book Award for Best Regional Fiction (West-Pacific), is a character-driven literary work about six adults trying to find their purpose in the world and is set primarily in the Pacific Northwest.

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