Annual employee food drive stays (mostly) virtual for 2022

Governor’s State Employees Food Drive

The annual Governor’s State Employees Food Drive kicks off Tuesday, Feb. 1, and this year’s drive will look similar to last year’s with most donations being made virtually. But with a hybrid workforce, in-person events and food barrels are back on the menu – with some COVID-specific guidelines.  

The iconic food collection barrels that normally dot campus will also be back this year and participating departments will accept shelf-stable foods like cooking oils, canned goods, and dried food like beans and pasta.

In-person events may be held at department coordinators’ discretion. Potlucks and bake sales are popular food drive fundraisers, and they are approved for this year – provided participants follow UO’s masking and distancing guidelines, and that only employees participate when home-cooked items are on the menu. Bake sale items should be individually wrapped, and purchased from a commercial bakery if offered to non-employees.

The hybrid operations of the campus community also allow for creativity with virtual fundraising events and engagement. From silent auctions and raffles to virtual bingo, trivia night and cooking classes, remote or hybrid activities can spur participation and inspire generosity.

As with the 2021 food drive, monetary donations will only be accepted online or by completing the online payroll deduction form. All donations for the month of February will be matched, up to $100,000, by a FOOD for Lane County donor.

Last year UO employees donated the equivalent of 268,000 meals during the monthlong drive – an all-time record. The food drive steering committee has set this year’s goal at 110,000 meals.

“UO employees were so generous during the 2021 food drive that we blew all our previous records out of the water, in response to incredible need in the community,” said Larissa Ennis, director of Community Relations and co-chair of the food drive. “We know that may have been an anomaly, but we’re hoping that UO employees will be as big-hearted this year, as the need is still much greater than before the pandemic.”

The food drive runs Feb. 1 to 28. Around the O will publish stories throughout the month highlighting opportunities to get involved. For more information see your department’s food drive site coordinator, or join the O365_Governor’s Food Drive team in Microsoft Teams. If you aren’t sure who the coordinator is, email fooddrive@uoregon.edu to get connected.