UW News

April 23, 2009

Staffer’s good idea prompts CFD’s Spring Food Drive, now through May 1

UW News

Those in need are in need all year long, not just at the holidays. And so the UW Combined Fund Drive is once again asking for generosity from the UW community, for its Spring Food Drive, which will run through Friday, May 1. And it was all the idea of a staffer named Teresa Aurelius.

All sorts of nonperishable food items are needed, such as canned meats, fruits and vegetables, peanut butter, powdered milk, soup and baby food and formula. Donations will be sent to the University District Food Bank.

Seventeen bins have already been distributed across campus. If your department would like to participate, contact your CFD coordinator or the University Food Bank, at 206-523-7060, to arrange for donation pickup.

Individuals can also make a monetary donation to the food bank — or other charitable agencies — through the CFD. Learn more online at http://www.washington.edu/uwcfd/.

The notion came from Aurelius, clinic receptionist for the Speech and Hearing Sciences Department, who saw a need and called the CFD office to see if a drive could be set up.

“I’ve been here about five years, and I realized that whenever we had a food drive it seemed to come at a time when faculty, staff and students were doing finals or getting ready to take off for winter break,” Aurelius said. “But people are starving all year ’round, not just at Christmas or the holidays.”

And she wondered if people might have more to give when holiday pressures are not upon them.

Aurelius said she ran across an old e-mail from winter about donation bins being placed across campus. She asked if there might be a way to have a few bins around for donations just now, and was delighted to hear that others would like to contribute to that as well.

“I was surprised that they were surprised!” she said, and a new food drive was born.

Aurelius said she also was impressed by Bill Gates’ decision in December to give $1.4 million to area food banks. “I thought that was so great,” she said.

And, in keeping with the very point Aurelius was making, these causes welcome your donation even after the Spring Food Drive concludes. Any help, any time, is appreciated.

Making this drive even more special is the fact that donations sent until April 30 will make the food bank eligible for additional assistance from the Rhode Island-based Feinstein Foundation, which has pledged $1 million to be divided among many grant applicants in proportion to the amount of food and money they raise this month.

Joe Gruber, food bank director, said he and his staff “are touched by this spontaneous act of UW employees to support our work.”

He said the food bank is ready to support the drive with “donation barrels, shopping lists, posters or to answer questions about accessing the food bank since we never know who in our community — neighbors, relatives, customers — might need our help.”

For more information about the U-District Food Bank, visit online at http://www.udistrictfoodbank.org or call 206-523-7060. The food bank is located in the basement of the University Christian Church on the corner of 15th Avenue NE and NE 50th Street.