For the eighth consecutive year, Western Oregon University raised the most pounds-per-employee out of the entire Oregon University System for the annual Governorís State Employee Food Drive. The average this year was 161.31 pounds per employee.
The generous people of the Western Oregon University community have established traditions that effect campus life each February. From online auctions to baked potato bars to high tea, there were many ways for people to get involved. Many employees chose to make ongoing monthly donationds, which help sustain the food banks during low donation months. Each dollar donated equates to five pounds of food.
The departments on campus have their own friendly competition, with a pizza party given to the department raising the most pounds-per-employee for their own area. This year, the combined efforts of the Offices of the President, Provost, Vice President for Finance and Administration and the Graduate Programs gathered a total of 17,014 pounds, or 1,701 per employee. In second place was University Housing and Campus Dining, and third place went to the Teaching Research Institute.
More than four million pounds of food was raised statewide for the Oregon Food Bank Network, making the Governorís food drive efforts the largest food and fund drive for the network. The annual food drive has no budget; all fundraisers are planned and funded by state employees.
In the spring of 1979, Governor Atiyeh initiated Oregon Food Share, the first statewide food distribution network in the nation and the predecessor of the Oregon Food Bank Network. This was in response to federal cutbacks in food stamp allotments, now referred to as SNAP. Governor Atiyeh started the Governor's State Employees Food Drive in 1982, calling on every state agency to sponsor a food drive "to reduce the suffering of those without adequate food resources" and "to show that true Oregonians believe that we can and do help our friends and neighbors in need."