Annual employee food drive remains (mostly) virtual for 2022

The Governor’s annual State Employee Food Drive begins Tuesday, February 1, and this year’s drive will be 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 return this year, and participating departments will accept shelf-stable foods like cooking oils, canned goods, and dried foods like beans and pasta.

In-person events may take place at the discretion of department coordinators. Potlucks and bake sales are popular fundraisers for food drives, and they’re approved for this year — so long as attendees follow UO’s masking and distancing guidelines, and only employees participate when homemade dishes are on the menu. Bake sale items must be individually wrapped and purchased from a commercial bakery if offered to non-employees.

The campus community’s hybrid operations also enable creativity with virtual fundraising events and engagement. From silent auctions and raffles to virtual bingo, quiz nights and cooking classes, remote or hybrid activities can boost participation and inspire generosity.

As with the 2021 food drive, cash donations will only be accepted online or by completing the online payroll deduction form. All February donations 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 month-long commute, an all-time high. 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 shattered all of our previous records, in response to an incredible need in the community,” said Larissa Ennis, Director of Community Relations and Co-Chair. of food collection. “We know this may have been an anomaly, but we hope that OU employees will be as generous this year, because the need is still much greater than before the pandemic.”

The food drive runs from February 1-28. Around the O will be posting stories throughout the month highlighting opportunities to get involved. For more information, see your department’s Food Drive Site Coordinator or join the Governor’s O365 Food Drive Team in Microsoft Teams. If you don’t know who the coordinator is, email [email protected] to connect.

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