Ohio State’s food insecurity program swoops into Valley

Local News

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Nearly 100 local soup kitchens and food pantries received a big assist Thursday from students with Ohio State University and staff with the area’s cooperative extension service.

This is the fifth year the university’s Student Life organization has taken part in the “Kindness Initiative,” teaming up with OSU’s cooperative extension program.

“We pick different areas throughout our state. We pick areas that have identified as food insecure, and we deliver these meals out,” said Tracy Stuck, director of Ohio State Student Life

In addition to the Canfield Fairgrounds, the caravan stopped in Lisbon and at Youngstown State University Thursday as well as Canton and Ravenna. Volunteers passed out boxes of food to local soup kitchens and food pantries.

“It really helps. We have a good pantry at the church, and we give out food once a month,” said Chirs Woolley, a spokesperson for Christian Life Church.

Earlier this week, 500 volunteers, including about 50 students from the Mahoning Valley, gathered at Ohio State to pack boxes and get them ready for distribution. Each box contained 36 meals.

“Unfortunately, they wanted more than we could provide today, but we were able to give 188,300 meals away today,” said Eric Barrett, a spokesperson for the OSU Cooperative Extension.

Finding volunteers to help pass out the boxes wasn’t hard at all. Just ask Elle Buffenbarger with the YSU ladies’ softball team.

“The names fill up right away, We all want to go out and do something and help others.

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