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

When students pack the residence halls, classrooms and the PUB in a few short weeks, some additional parts of campus will be packed as well—packed with food.

Organizers of the President’s Food Drive, a “friendly competition” aimed at helping EWU’s Office of Community Engagement meet the needs of food insecure students and staff, announced during a Sept. 4 event that they had raised enough items to fully stock the seven food cabinets around campus.

Often overlooked during this time of year 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 launched a two-week, campus-wide food drive to fill the seven EWU food cabinets before classes start. Each campus division was challenged to compete in a friendly contest to determine who could collect the most non-perishable food items. Monetary donations were also accepted. Each food item and dollar raised were assigned a point value.

University staff did not disappoint! While it wasn’t really about winning, a little friendly competition likely helped boost the results—especially for one team. Of course those of us here at InsideEWU, part of the University Advancement team involved in the competition, don’t want to accuse anyone of “cooking the books.” But it did seem a little suspicious that the record keeping crew at the Division of Business and Finance was the run-away winner.

  • 1st Place (8,908 points) = Business & Finance
  • 2nd Place (1,813 points) = University Advancement
  • 3rd Place (1,420 points) = Student Affairs
  • 4th Place (1,390 points) = Academic Affairs
  • 5th Place (944 points) = Athletics
  • 6th Place (698 points) = President’s Office and the Office of Diversity & Inclusion

Full transparency: We’re joking of course. Congratulations to our business and finance colleagues for an impressive haul! The team also took home top honors in the contest for best food bin decorations.

  • Best in Show = Business & Finance
  • Most Creative = Academic Affairs
  • Eagle Spirit Award = President’s Office and the Office of Diversity & Inclusion
The winners: EWU Business & Finance

On top of filling the campus food pantries, the President’s Food Drive will also help the university expand its services to include a Central Food Pantry that will allow users access to fresh, nutritious, refrigerated items such as produce, meat and dairy. The EWU Office of Community Engagement says this space is already under construction, and will open within the year in Tawanka Commons.

President Mary Cullinan and Community Engagement Director Brian Davenport both thanked EWU staff for their generosity and support during a food drive celebration on Wednesday. Both echoed the same message that food insecurity is an unacceptable problem that we must address as a community.

EWU would like to thank the following food drive sponsors:

Yoke's Fresh Market
Sonderen Packaging