Governor’s Food Drive will help SOU students in need

The annual Governor’s Food Drive is up and running through February at SOU, and those who contribute can make a real difference for students with unreliable access to food and other community members in need.

All food collected in campaign at SOU will be donated to the university’s Student Food Pantry, and monetary donations will support food assistance programs at ACCESS – the region’s community action agency.

“Our donations of food or pledges of monetary support can make a very real impact on hunger – not on the other side of the world, or in another part of the country, but right here on our campus,” SOU President Linda Schott said in announcing the food drive last month.

Recent studies have shown that as many as half of all U.S. college students have unreliable access to nutritious food. The Governor’s Food Drive draws donations from state government and public university employees throughout Oregon to support the Oregon Food Bank Network – but SOU has arranged for its food donations to go directly to its Student Food Pantry.

The Food Pantry provides SOU students who are in need with as many as 10 items of nonperishable food or hygiene supplies each week.

Red collection bags are expected to be delivered soon by campus mail to all SOU employees. The bags can be filled with non-perishable food items and returned anytime this month to collection barrels located in each building. SOU Dining and A’viands will offer a prize of coffee and snacks to employees from the building that collects the most pounds of donated food.

Employees may also sign up for monthly or one-time payroll deductions and submit the form to Michele Barlow in Human Resources. Each dollar donated is considered the equivalent of four pounds of donated food.

All employees who sign up for a payroll deduction, regardless of the amount, will be entered into a drawing for various prizes.

Other events associated with the food drive include a free concert, featuring student and faculty musical groups, presented by SOU’s Oregon Center for the Arts. Admission to the “Feed Body and Soul” concert – at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12, in the Music Recital Hall – will be two cans of food or a cash donation at the door.

SOU Athletics will collect nonperishable food donations at the women’s and men’s basketball games on Feb. 15 against College of Idaho and Feb. 16 against Eastern Oregon University. Tip-offs will be at 5:30 p.m. each day for the women’s games and 7:30 p.m. for the men’s games.