There’s nothing like a little healthy competition to bring people together. For Shelly Signs, director of University Events, the annual OSU Food Drive does just that, bringing people from around campus together to participate in events like raffles and bake sales, and pits unit against unit, college against college, in a friendly race to bring in the most donations.
“We meet people in the food drive, and it’s so great to put a face with a name,” she said.
The February 2013 food drive raised $65,718 from events alone. Payroll contributions totaled an additional $56,630, and 15,702 pounds of food was collected. All cash donations are converted by the statewide figure of 4 lbs. purchased for $1, bringing the total food poundage collected this year to 513,096.
There were 71 events held around campus for this year’s drive, up from 53 last year. Food drive organizers came together March 19 for a lunch to celebrate their accomplishments and reflect on a lot of good work.
According to Mike Gibson, director of Linn-Benton Food Share, the OSU Food Drive has raised more than half a million dollars in the last five years to be distributed to food banks around the two counties. In the meantime, they’ve seen a 35 percent increase in the number of people coming in for emergency food boxes.
“This infusion of cash really helps us,” he said. “Families and individuals are able to eat because you care. You are giving these families hope and a sense that their community cares about them. They are not invisible or abandoned.”
OSU President Ed Ray reflected on the generosity of the OSU community in the face of tough economic times.
“The last five years have been the hardest this country has seen since the Great Depression,” he said. “We can all make a gesture once, but to keep coming back when it gets harder and harder to reach out… this community has done it.”
Ray also pointed out that the Linn-Benton Food Share’s focus on providing healthy and nutritious food to its clients ties in with OSU’s own mission to support healthy communities in Oregon.
He added that supporting activities such as the food drive provide the OSU community with a chance to make a tangible difference in the lives of other community members.
“It imbues us with a sense of caring,” he said. “This commitment helps us find a purpose in our own lives.”
The following are this year’s winners:
1. Hatfield Marine Science Center
2. Extension, Wallowa County
3. Extension, Linn County
1. University Honors College
3. Latter Day Saint Student Association
Team 1 (1-20 employees)
1. 6th Floor Kerr
3. School of Public Policy
Team 2 (21-50)
1. Microbiology, Biochemistry and Biophysics
2. Chancellor’s Office
3. Animal and Rangeland Sciences
Team 3 (51-100)
1. Botany and Plant Pathology
2. Biology and Zoology
3. Business Affairs
Team 4 (101+)
2. Vet Med
Bringing in the bucks (Celebrating increased payroll contributions)
School of Writing, Literature and Film
College of Public Health and Human Sciences
Most Creative idea
Linus Pauling Institute
Linn-Benton Food Share awards
Top Banana – College of Forestry
Kettle of Caring – 6th floor Kerr
Apple of our Eye – NROTC, Naval Science
Hope Spring Eternal – College of Vet med
Pot ‘O Gold – College of Forestry
Donut Feel Good to Give – University Honors College
Spud – Enactus (SIFE)
~ Theresa Hogue