By: Pulse Staff
As the University of Findlay prepares to host a mobile food pantry on Jan. 26 for the community, a new report from the U.S. Government Office of Accountability shows that some colleges are trying to respond to a perceived need to feed college students who can’t afford to buy food for themselves.
The report released last week by the GOA reviewed 31 studies but couldn’t nail down an actual number of college students at risk to go hungry. However, it did find that almost 2 million at-risk students who could have been eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) did not report receiving benefits in 2016.
It also found that as of September 2018, more than 650 colleges reported having a food pantry on campus to help their students in need.
The University of Findlay does not have its own pantry but Director of Service and Community Engagement at the Buford Center for Diversity and Service Crystal Weitz says it has offered help for students with a variety of needs by compiling useful information for student access.
“We have published a community resource guide so that students can access local resources available to them. This guide just became live this summer,” said Weitz. “It is a Google doc, so we keep it updated as needed and it has the most up to date information that we have.”
She says the Buford Center also has a limited supply of household items, small appliances, kitchen items, and toiletries.
“So, if a student is in need and unable to buy something, they can contact the Buford Center and take the item free of charge,” said Weitz. “These items are available through donations from UF faculty and staff. The inventory is ever-changing, so we cannot guarantee what is available at a certain time.”
Owens Community Colleges offer a food pantry, including the location in Findlay, Ohio. The college says it provides non-perishable food to Owens students in need and all they have to do is show their student I.D.
Weitz says the UF hosts two mobile food pantries on campus each year in partnership with Chopin Hall that go beyond helping university students.
“We distribute 10,000 pounds of groceries to any community member who attends,” said Wetiz. “We have many student volunteers who assist with this food distribution, and we also provide optional classroom activities as our guests wait for their food.”
The next mobile food pantry at UF is at 6:30 a.m. Jan. 26.
Resources listed in the UF guide include Chopin Hallinside The Family Center, 1800 N. Blanchard St. which is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 1 to 4 p.m. City Mission, 510 W. Main Cross St. allows residents to pick up two boxes a month after the Tuesday and Thursday evening meals.
The Salvation Army, 310 Center St. is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 1-4 p.m.
The Little Free Pantry Findlay at the corner of North Main Street and Midland Avenue says it has free groceries available to anyone at any time.