Ohio State Adding Second Student Food Pantry As Demand Doubles

Buckeye Food Alliance, a student-run food pantry on Ohio State's campus, is opening a second location next semester.
Buckeye Food Alliance, a student-run food pantry on Ohio State's campus, is opening a second location next semester. [Buckeye Food Alliance]
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A food pantry for Ohio State University students will be expanding next semester. The student-run Buckeye Food Alliance will open a new location at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church at the corner of West Woodruff and High Street.

Buckeye Food Alliance says this year's demand is nearly double that of 2018.

“I think what's changing is that students are aware that the pantry is available,” says program coordinator Nick Fowler.  “It’s getting out there more and we’re using more channels to advertise that we exist and students are a little bit more comfortable coming to visit."

Fowler says so far in 2019, students have visited the original pantry at Lincoln Tower 700 times. Both undergraduate and graduates students can access food at the pantries.

Fowler says Buckeye Food Alliance has a partnership with the MidOhio Foodbank, with other donations coming from a student group called Best Food Forward, which helps provide bulk buys of fresh produce.

The pantry normally carries nonperishable food items that include canned fruits, vegetables, soups, beans and cereal. Personal care products like shampoo are also available.

Fowler says the pantry’s work is making a difference, but another location is needed to help more students.

“Our thought is, you know, some students maybe aren’t coming to the pantry because it’s just too far away, walking from that east of High district to Lincoln Tower and then carrying you know 20, 30, 40 pounds of groceries back home is incredibly challenging,” Fowler says.

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