FAIRBORN, Ohio (WDTN) – With a new name, a new location, even a new freezer donated by the faculty union, the Raider Food Pantry is ready to serve those who experience food insecurity.
The new pantry located in the Student Union is more visible and accessible to students, and officials said it is three times bigger than the former location in Allyn Hall, so they can serve more people at once.
Previously called the Friendship Pantry, between August 2018 and February 2019, it served 214 students totalling 441 household members.
“Not all of the people who use the pantry are traditional students,” said Joanna Evans, a graduate student who is a licensed social worker, and the pantry coordinator. “We have people who are single mothers, single fathers, we have those older adults who are coming back to school and are needing to use the pantry. It’s not just your 18-year-old who needs help because they just moved out.”
Evans said a campus survey from two years ago shows 48 percent of students who answered said they had food insecurity at some point.
She said August through December last year 2,778 pounds of food were given to those who requested food assistance.
“Seeing that and hearing the stories, it can be heartbreaking, but it makes us driven more to do more fundraisers, do more food drives, get more monetary donations so that way you’re not going to be struggling and you can focus on your studies, which is what we primarily want to happen,” said Evans.
But it is not just students, the pantry is open to anyone in the community who needs it.
Beyond that, they can also refer clients to programs and agencies that can assist with other needs they may have.
Evans said this case management used to be solely through email, but with a new private office, they can expand on that.
For more information on the Raider Food Pantry, click here.