It's a common idea that pervades American culture: when you're in college, it's simply a rite of passage to sustain yourself on cheap, unhealthy food.
In 2014, a research group at Ohio State conducted a survey that determined 15 percent of undergraduate students—approximately 7,000—suffer from the effects of very low food security. This means that, on a frequent basis, these Buckeyes are unable to afford enough food to adequately feed themselves.
Not only were these students being forced to sustain themselves on a diet of things like Ramen noodles and hot dogs, but even with eating cheap, unhealthy food many still couldn't afford to adequately feed themselves. With continually ballooning costs of tuition, school supplies, housing, and other expenses, paying for food becomes a luxury to some students—rather than the necessity that it should be.
While the university does its part to ensure students who live on campus have a meal plan, some of those students acknowledged several of their peers lacked reliable access to affordable, nutritious food.
After searching for a convenient, safe, and comfortable space for students that offered the room necessary to accommodate large amounts of inventory, the university generously donated a space in Lincoln Tower. After months of renovations and collecting food, Buckeye Food Alliance opened its doors on March 30, 2016.
Co-founders (left to right) Thomas Rosenberger, Katie Watson, and Alec Admonius opened the doors to the food pantry for the first time in March 2016.