Employee donations during food drive help fight student hunger

Food drive donation site
February 3, 2023 - 10:35am

The annual Governor’s State Employees Food Drive gets underway this week, and University of Oregon employees can make a difference for food insecure community members with monetary and canned food donations throughout the month of February.

Special food collection events to benefit the Student Food Pantry will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 15, and Wednesday, Feb, 22, with an option on and off campus.

University volunteers will accept nonperishable food donations in person at the Erb Memorial Union Fishbowl Terrace on Wednesday, Feb. 15, as well as at the Grace Lutheran Church/Student Food Pantry on Wednesday, Feb. 22, from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days. Donations will go to the Student Food Pantry to add diversity to their shelves, which are stocked by FOOD for Lane County. Culturally diverse and “building block” food items are often in demand, like spices, varied cooking oils, canned fruit, and shelf-stable proteins. 

While monetary donations are a more impactful method of giving to regional food banks, pantries supported by FOOD for Lane County rely on donated shelf-stable food to offer variety in the food options. The population being served by The Student Food Pantry is diverse, and the pantry has seen the same increases in demand as other area food pantries.

“We are seeing a pronounced need for food resources among undergraduate and graduate students, both from the results of the Division of Student Life's annual Student Wellbeing and Success Initiative survey, which is in its second year, and in the uptick of students coming through the Student Food Pantry,” said Madeline Hagar, UO basic needs coordinator for food security and community access initiatives.

Only nonperishable, in-date food items will be accepted at the canned food drive events. Donations that the student pantry can’t store immediately will go to FOOD for Lane County’s central warehouse for distribution to the Lane County community. For more information and a more complete list of desired foods, email fooddrive@uoregon.edu.