EWU Food Drive to Help Fight Student Hunger

Image of canned food with EWU Eagle and text "President's Food Drive"

In about a month, amidst much fanfare and anticipation over the start of a new academic year, students will begin returning to the EWU campus. Often overlooked during this time of excitement is the fact that many new and continuing Eagles will face daunting personal challenges in the weeks ahead; among the most notable — and preventable — of these involve concerns about going hungry.

Food insecurity is a major issue at colleges nationwide. Eastern is no exception. According to a 2016 study by the university’s Health, Wellness and Prevention Services, 33 percent of EWU students have at some point run out of food. Thirty-six percent, the study found, have at some point worried about where they will get their next meal.

That’s why the Office of the President is leading a campus-wide food drive to fully stock the seven EWU food cabinets in time for fall quarter.

According to Brian Davenport, director of the Office of Community Engagement (OCE), the drive will also help the university expand its services to include a Central Food Pantry that will allow student access to fresh, nutritious, refrigerated items such as produce, meat and dairy.

“The President’s Food Drive,” says Davenport, “is a great example of a saying we hold true in the Office of Community Engagement: ‘Giving back – it’s what Eagles do!’”

“Over the past year we have observed the pantries being used, so we know the need is there,” adds Libby Vigil, AmeriCorps VISTA community food security coordinator with OCE.

During the Aug. 19-Sept. 2 food drive, each campus division will be challenged to compete in a friendly contest to determine who can collect the most non-perishable food items. Monetary donations will also be accepted.

As President Cullinan said in a guest column in the Easterner, “We want our students to be healthy and strong. Everyone needs help sometimes, and no one should have to go it alone.”

Thanks to the generosity of the Eastern community, hopefully they won’t go it alone.

How the President’s Food Drive Will Work:

This year’s teams are divided by division:

  • President’s Office and the Office of Diversity & Inclusion
  • Academic Affairs
  • Athletics
  • Business & Finance
  • Student Affairs
  • University Advancement

Each division will be asked to identify “captains” to lead their team by picking up and decorating collection bins, spreading the word to colleagues about the food drive, and encouraging donations. As bins become full, captains will contact the Office of Community Engagement at communityengagement@ewu.edu or 509.359.6255 to have them emptied.

Non-perishable food items donated will have various point values assigned to them—see below for details. Monetary donations will receive 1 point per dollar donated. Those donations can be given online here––click “Designations” and select “EWU Food Pantry” under Community Programs. People can also donate money in-person at the President’s Office between the hours of 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Friday. The division with the most points at the end of the food drive will receive a trophy.

The winning team will be announced at a special food drive celebration from noon-1 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 4, in the Walt and Myrtle Powers Reading Room, 201 Hargreaves. Awards will also be given for creative bin decorations. Monetary donations for the food drive will also be accepted at the event. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided.

EWU would like to thank the following food drive sponsors:


Yoke's Fresh Market

Sonderen Packaging

President’s Food Drive 2019 – Desired Food List 

High Tier = 5 points per item 

  • Pasta 
  • Rice 
  • Canned meat (chicken, tuna, SPAM, ham) 
  • Instant mashed potatoes 
  • Canned soups/stews 
  • Peanut butter 
  • Meals in a box (Hamburger/Tuna Helper, Pasta Roni/ Rice-A-Roni, Homestyle Bakes

Medium Tier = 3 points per item 

  • Granola bars 
  • Nuts (in a sealed container) 
  • Applesauce 
  • Canned beans/baked beans 
  • Canned fruit 
  • Whole grain cereals 
  • Chips 
  • Crackers 

Low Tier = 1 point per item 

  • Gatorade 
  • Juices 
  • Instant coffee packs 
  • Spices (salt/pepper, garlic powder/salt, cayenne pepper, etc.) 
  • Shelf-stable and powdered milk 
  • Hygiene products (razors, shaving cream, deodorant, tampons/pads, shampoo/conditioner, etc.) 

Monetary Donations = 1 point per dollar 

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