Food drive competitions are good fun for a good cause

Cookies and treats

The annual Governor’s State Employees Food Drive kicked off Feb. 3, and coordinators from around the university are planning events and preparing for the annual competition that sees which department can donate the most food to the UO’s overall total.

The UO Foundation, 2019’s top department, found success with a variety of strategies. The foundation’s work teams compete against each other using a points system, participating in events planned by the department’s social committee.

“I love the annual food drive because it does so much good and it brings the team together in such a completely different way than happy hours or office parties,” said foundation site coordinator Sandra Anderson. “There’s competition but there’s a generosity of spirit there too.”

Second place department Lundquist College of Business and third place School of Law engaged in an impromptu leaderboard battle on Feed the Flock day, where online donations went to the campus food pantry.

“It wasn’t a planned competition. I kept an eye on the donations and was updating our college, goading them into donating to bring us back to the top of the list,” said Michele Civiello, coordinator for the business school. “Competition is a great way to elicit participation. Giving and being No. 1 at the same time doubles the satisfaction.”

The UO Foundation and University Advancement will once again collaborate on a competition that will motivate both divisions to donate. They will hold the “Great Fordish Bake Off,” a competition where employees contribute home-baked goods. Then colleagues from both departments will donate funds to sample and vote for the best bite.

The department with the best baked good will claim the bulk of the proceeds – and bragging rights – for their totals. All funds raised go to FOOD for Lane County.

Anderson is working with members of advancement’s social committee to plan the bake-off competition.

“I’m so pumped about the engagement between the two groups and expanding the spirit of competition,” Anderson said. “At the end of the day, if it raises just a few more dollars and cents, it will be a success. Every little bit counts.”

The Governor’s State Employees Food Drive runs Feb. 1 to 29. For more information, see your department’s food drive site coordinator. If you aren’t sure who that is, email to get connected.

By Larissa Ennis, Government and Community Relations