Today's Update: Tuesday, May 26

May 26, 2020

Dear Student Life Team, 

We often use the phrase “meeting the needs of our students” when talking about our services and programs. The work of the Buckeye Food Alliance Food Pantry is the essence of that approach.  

Buckeye Food Alliance, a student organization that is also a 501(c)(3) organization, runs the on-campus food pantry. The pantry is supported in numerous ways by the Office of Student Life. Student Life has donated space in Lincoln Tower for pantry operations and Nick Fowler, a full-time staff member in the Student Life Student Wellness Center, coordinates the operation. 

The utilization of the food pantry has gone up dramatically in this pandemic. From January through April of 2019, the pantry saw 269 visits. For the same months this year, the number is over 1,200. Food security is an issue across the country and Ohio State’s campus is no different. Our capacity to provide food to students in need is crucial to continuing their education. Obviously, COVID-19 and its impact have put even more students at risk.  

Nick and the pantry are receiving help. People have stepped up to provide volunteer staffing for the pantry, donated products, money and facial coverings, while others have helped with making pick-ups from the Mid-Ohio Food Collective. (I know it’s not Friday, but they all deserve a High Five!) 

Partnerships are important. An arrangement with Mid-Ohio Food Collective allows us to purchase food at a deep discount and ensure that the pantry is stocked with fresh foods. Kroger has been of immense help providing gift cards and products such as meal kits that are healthy and can be prepared in as little as 20 minutes. And Lyft has made it possible for students to access free rides to the pantry.  

The pantry provides more than just food. They’ve experienced heavy demand for personal care products such as soap, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner and toilet paper. In fact, these items are at the top of their wish list if you would like to collect things to donate.  

The pantry in Suite 150 in Lincoln Tower is open Monday through Friday. The hours and more information are on their website (www.buckeyefoodalliance.org/). The second location at St. Stephen’s is not currently operating so we could consolidate operations.   

If you have items you’d like to donate, contact Nick at fowler.318@osu.edu. He, and our students, would be very happy for the help. It would be Scarlet and Great!

And don’t forget the all-Student Life Team Zoom meeting is this coming Friday, May 29, from 1:30-2:30 p.m. I’ll send the link later this week.

Melissa