Student initiative helps bring attention to food insecurity – OSU – The Lantern

Posted: November 5, 2020 at 7:57 am

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The Pay It Forward cohort and Buckeye Food Alliance after the 2019 Battle Against Hunger. Credit: Alyssa Ciango | For The Lantern

Ohio State student cohort Pay it Forward is working to educate people about food insecurity in Columbus through a program that is now in its 10th year.

Pay It Forward is an initiative focused on providing students with service opportunities and hosting Battle Against Hunger, a month-long program dedicated to raising awareness about food insecurity, which means a person does not have reliable access to a sufficient amount of affordable, nutritious food. Battle Against Hunger began Monday and will run until Nov. 25.

Alyssa Ciango, the graduate administrative associate for the Office of Student Activities, said the Pay It Forward cohort is a group of 27 students whose goal is to educate its peers about social justice issues in and around the Columbus area. She said Battle Against Hunger was established in 2010.

Ciango said there are many ways students can get involved, including donating food and attending virtual programs such as the online educational panel on food insecurity that the program hosted Monday and will host again Nov. 16.

At these panels, we bring in experts, whether that is from the College of Medicine or Social Work, or community partners to talk about food insecurity and how food insecurity affects not only students, but individuals in Columbus, Ciango said.

Ciango said students can also sign up for Food Insecurity 101, a meeting to educate attendees about food insecurity and provide statistics for how it affects Columbus. Meetings are Tuesday and Nov. 18 from 7-8 p.m, according to the Pay It Forward website.

Ciango said the Food Insecurity 101 meetings are marketed as a First Year Success Series event, which first-year students can sign up for online but are available for all students on the website, as are the panel sessions.

We chose to do this because any student, faculty or staff who is associated with Ohio State can use that pantry, Ciango said. So we thought it was important to support our students in that way.

Students can drop off non-perishable and self-care items during a hosted food drive, Ciango said. Drop-off boxes are located at the Ohio Union information desks. Donations will be given to the Buckeye Food Alliance at the end of the month, Ciango said.

Especially in these times, we have found that unfortunately the coronavirus has increased rates of food insecurity, Ciango said. And so its important for us to make donations of any sort.

Megan Haddock, the Ohio State Discount Ticket Program coordinator, said D-Tix became involved in Battle Against Hunger in 2017 when one of her student employees, a previous member of Pay It Forward, told her about it. D-Tix has participated every year since.

D-Tix hosts its own food drive during Battle Against Hunger, with a goal to get as many students to donate as possible, Haddock said. Students can bring their donations to the D-Tix desk in the Union.

We have done it a few years in the past, so we know what we got in the past, Haddock said. So just trying to match or beat the amount we had before would be amazing.

Haddock said she was happy that D-Tix has been involved for the past couple years.

People should donate its for a really good cause, and it will help the community that they live in of Ohio State students and that is a great reason to donate, Haddock said.

Students can find further information about Battle Against Hunger events on Pay It Forwards Instagram, @payitforwardosu.

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Student initiative helps bring attention to food insecurity - OSU - The Lantern

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November 5th, 2020 at 7:57 am

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