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All week, this week: UCOP food drive to celebrate Food Day 2014

Food drive poster child

This week’s UCOP food drive for the Alameda County Community Food Bank is designed to raise awareness about nutrition, healthy eating and food security.

This week, from Oct. 20 to 24, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) and OP Staff Assembly are joining forces to celebrate Food Day 2014 on Friday, Oct. 24. They are sponsoring a food drive and other events to raise awareness about the UC Global Food Initiative, food security and healthy eating and to generate a little “healthy” competition.

See President Napolitano’s letter to staff about the food drive.

The UCOP food drive will solicit monetary and food donations for the Alameda County Community Food Bank, which serves nearly 49,000 East Bay residents every week. And on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 12 to 1 p.m. on the Franklin fifth floor patio, Food Bank Executive Director Suzan Bateson will visit UCOP to talk about the work of the food bank and other community efforts to end hunger.

“People often think of hunger and food insecurity as something that primarily affects developing nations,” said Lorrene Ritchie, Ph.D., R.D., director of ANR’s Nutrition Policy Institute and organizer of UCOP Food Day events. “But one of every six Americans has trouble putting food on the table, and good nutrition is difficult to practice when you’re in that situation.”

Food bins are located on each Franklin floor to collect food items (see list of preferred healthy food items). Donations will be tallied and floors will be awarded points, with double the point value for healthy food items and for cash donations (see more below). The floor with the most points at the end of the week wins a prize, $100 worth of fresh produce from the Oakland Farmer’s Market, donated by ANR.

The easiest way to participate is to make your donations via credit card on the Alameda County Food Bank Virtual Food Drive website. (Select “UCOP” in the dropdown menu under “Start Shopping!” on the right side of the page.)

Each dollar donated can purchase $6 worth of food by the Food Bank, which uses these funds to purchase healthy foods that are rarely donated. UCOP floors at the Kaiser, 20th St. and Broadway buildings are encouraged to participate by making online donations or bringing your food items to Franklin St.

And if you’d like to help in other ways, contact Lorrene Ritchie at or 510-987-0523.

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