This year on March 24, National Day of Giving, 4-H teens and volunteers helped distribute boxes of meals at the Scioto County Fairgrounds. There were 100,000 meals delivered to Scioto, Jackson, and Pike counties, donated by The Ohio State University Office of Student Affairs.
Food insecurity in those counties increased 23% during the COVID crisis. To help address this need, the Ohio State Student Life group packed shelf-stable meals to distribute to partnering agencies within the three counties.
“These are packaged meals that don’t have to be cooked—rice, beans, dehydrated vegetables, and seasoning—then they put six meals in a bag to distribute meals to a family,” said Treva Williams, an educator in Ohio State University Extension’s Scioto County office. “We contacted multiple groups throughout the county to see if they would be interested in having some of these to distribute through their food banks or distribution system.”
About 120,000 meals were delivered to the three counties, with Scioto agencies receiving their deliveries at the Scioto County Fairgrounds in Lucasville. The shipment arrived on the very same truck that Ohio State typically uses to transport football equipment to Buckeye games.
“The good thing about this program is that these meals are shelf-stable, so people don’t have to use them right now. A lot of times we get fresh fruits and dairy products, and we have to use them or they spoil. This can be that in-between piece. They’ll have it available to use it whenever works best for their family,” Williams said.
Seventeen partnering agencies in Scioto County received the meal deliveries, including the South Central Ohio Educational Service Center in New Boston, which received nearly 30,000 meals for local school districts to pick up later and distribute to their communities. Other partnering agencies included the Potter’s House, Steven Hunter Hope Fund, Salvation Army, and more.
Williams credited the amazing partnership between Ohio State Student Life, OSU Extension, the South Central Ohio Educational Service Center, Scioto County Fairgrounds, and other community agencies.