The Governor’s State Employees Food Drive at Oregon State University has a long tradition of success. Every year during the month of February, the University comes together and plans a wide variety of food and fund-raising activities to help the hungry. Proceeds from the Corvallis campus benefit the non-profit agencies served in Linn-Benton Food Share. These agencies include local food pantries, the OSU food pantry, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, day care centers, shelter homes and gleaning groups in Linn and Benton counties.
To support the university wide food drive, the College of Forestry raises money in partnership with staff, students and faculty through bake sales, weekly soup lunches, donations, payroll contributions, raffles and other events.
Due to the efforts of our generous and enthusiastic supporters, the college once again received the Top Banana award in 2019 and 2020. The Top Banana is awarded to the college or unit that contributes the most money during the annual food drive. Since it’s difficult to ensure food donations are fresh and not expired, the college focuses on raising money for Linn Benton Food Share. For every dollar raised, the Food Share is able to provide three meals for community members in need. In 2019, the college raised $14,876, the equivalent of 44,628 individual meals. In 2020, the college successfully raised $15,314, the equivalent of 45,942 individual meals. As an added bonus, our friends at Stahlbush Island Farms donated 15,600 pounds of canned food to the Food Bank on our behalf.
“The food drive effort is personally important to me. Not so many years ago I was a single mom of three kids with little income,” said Jessica Fitzmorris, outreach and administrative manager at the college and co-chair of the college Food Drive Committee. “Food insecurity in my life was a real problem and it was programs like the food bank that made it possible for me to provide enough food for my family. I’m extremely proud to be a part of the college’s efforts each year to raise so much money for community members in need.”
Terralyn Vandetta, director of forestry computing resources for the college and co-chair of the college Food Drive Committee has actively volunteered on the Food Drive Committee for over 20 years. She attended her first Food Drive meeting in 1999 after joining the Forest Science Department as a way to get more involved with the college. The rest, according to Vandetta, is history. “While the people have changed over the years, the College of Forestry’s commitment to community has never wavered. I am so proud to be a part of this community that helps to ensure that everybody eats,” Vandetta said.
2020 Food Drive Committee
Madison Dudley, Chelsey Durling, Christina Fierro, Jessica Fitzmorris (co-chair), Lindsay Golly, Michelle Greene, Angela Haney, Allison Starkenburg, Faith Sully, Juliet Sutton, Terralyn Vandetta (co-chair), Sharon Whalen and Adrienne Wonhof
2019 Food Drive Committee
Jessica Bagley, Madison Dudley, Chelsey Durling, Christina Fierro, Jessica Fitzmorris (co-chair), Angela Haney, Brooke Harrington, Nicole Kent, LeeAnn Mikkelson, Callie Newton, Lauren Rennan, Faith Sully, Jennah Stillman, Juliet Sutton, Terralyn Vandetta (co-chair) and Adrienne Wonhof
This story was part of the College of Forestry’s 2019-2020 Biennial Report.