Eastern Oregon University > Faculty > Helping hearts, minds and stomachs for 2022 

Helping hearts, minds and stomachs for 2022 

Helping hearts, minds and stomachs for 2022 

Feb. 1, 2022 LA GRANDE, Ore. – It’s time to open up hearts, wallets and pantries and help hungry Oregonians for the 2022 EOU Food Drive. 

The drive is part of a larger statewide effort organized in collaboration with Community Connection of Northeast Oregon with the goal of raising 1,000 pounds of nonperishables for the Union County food bank. 

“The goal of the food drive is to raise money for the food bank and to increase awareness about food insecurity experienced in Union County,” Food Drive Director Kate Gekeler said. “EOU and CCNO have seen that when the university and food bank team up, the people who benefit range from students, to families in our community, and even employees who are going through a rough patch. Food insecurity is much more common than we think and working together to prevent people from going hungry is our goal.”

From 2009 to 2020, the Food Drive collected over 160,000 pounds of food. Currently, the drive has eight primary staff members and five student volunteers, with more partners and volunteers being brought in as the project progresses.

Recently, the drive has shifted toward preference for direct cash donations over food and perishables, though all donations are still accepted. 2022 also marks the first year students have been directly asked to volunteer in donation collection, according to ASEOU President Alexa Jamison. 

The drive has several planned donation methods. Firstly, EOU staff can have a portion of their paychecks automatically deducted by submitting a form

Student volunteers will collect both cash and food donations during the men’s and women’s basketball games Feb. 12. All donations can be exchanged for raffle tickets at $1 per ticket. Students looking to volunteer are encouraged to donate at the games, volunteer to help collect raffle tickets and food, or encourage friends and family members to donate .      

Remote donation pick-up can be arranged by contacting Kate Gekeler at kegekeler@eou.edu or Haven For Hunger. Donation bins will be available for food and cash drop-off around campus. Volunteers will collect donations outside of local grocery stores including Grocery Outlet and Safeway.

The Food Drive runs from Feb. 3 to March 2. Students wanting to volunteer can contact ASEOU President Alexa Jamison at aspres@eou.edu.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing how EOU can get our community motivated and active in a project that benefits the whole county. I think it’s really special that we have such a great bandwidth, student and employee volunteer-wise. It is really special to have such an amazing network of support on campus,” Gekeler said.