SPOKANE, Wash. — The Intercollegiate College of Nursing/Washington State University College of Nursing is kicking the Washington State Combined Fund Drive into high gear by asking employees to contribute to the CFD and help fight hunger in Spokane by donating food to the Second Harvest Food Bank of the Inland Northwest.

The Washington State Combined Fund Drive is the Washington state employees’ and public agency retirees’ workplace charitable giving program. The program allows employees to select the charities of their choice (in their community or elsewhere in the state), the source of the contribution, the amount donated and the duration of the contribution. Employees volunteer to oversee the program in their agency so that every dollar reaches the targeted charity.

The CFD is in full swing and will continue through Nov. 21. Last year the College of Nursing campuses in Spokane and Yakima raised more than $7,200 for the fund drive.

To engage students and the surrounding community in a worthy cause, the students, faculty and professionals at the College of Nursing have designated the campus an official collection site for nonperishable food items and donations to benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank of the Inland Northwest.

Site coordinators Julie Shapori and Karen Malone have created themed meal weeks to make the collection interesting, easy and fun. “By adding a community concern to the drive, our students, our neighbors near the campus and the general populous can contribute to those in need as well,” Malone said.

“The idea of putting a small meal together based on a theme lets people get a little creative with their food donation,” Shapori said. “We’re starting with Italian Week and working through the next four weeks with different themes designed to provide something for any appetite. The Italian Week bags include everything from pasta to dessert.”

Future themes include Kids Stuff, Southwestern Flair, Beverage Week, and Thanksgiving Feast. “Our student ambassador group will help us deliver the food to the Second Harvest Food Bank,” Malone said. “On Friday, Oct. 24, a group of ambassadors delivered the Italian Week donations to the Spokane Valley Mall, where Jay and Kevin from Spokane’s Cat Country 94 were filling a Second Harvest Food Bank truck with food. Things like that make the entire process relevant, fun and exciting for our students.”

To bring the campaign to a close, students will deliver the Thanksgiving Feast collections to a Rosauers supermarket Nov. 21, where Tom Sherry from KREM-2 will be collecting frozen turkeys for “Tom’s Annual Turkey Drive”.

Organizers say cash donations are also welcome. Every dollar donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank of the Inland Northwest is used to generate more than $10 worth of food for those in need.

Established in 1968, the Intercollegiate College of Nursing/WSU College of Nursing is the nation’s first, oldest and most comprehensive nursing education consortium. The College of Nursing offers baccalaureate, graduate and professional development course work to nursing students enrolled through its four consortium partners: Eastern Washington University, Gonzaga University, WSU and Whitworth College. Each year, the college educates more than 650 graduate and upper-division undergraduate students and prepares more entry-level nurses than any other educational institution in the state. For more information about the Intercollegiate College of Nursing/WSU College of Nursing, visit the college Web site at www.nursing.wsu.edu.