A Wolverine defeat won’t only be decided upon by a final football score this month, but also by an amount of food items collected during an Ohio State food drive.
The Battle Against Hunger is set to be held on campus throughout the month of November, aiming to serve local food pantries and beat Michigan in a different kind of rivalry competition than what many Buckeyes are probably used to.
Pay It Forward, an Office of Student Life student service cohort at OSU, started the Battle Against Hunger program in 2010 initially as a food drive competition with the Circle K service-based student organization at the University of Michigan, Pay it Forward adviser Jake Cohen said.
It has now become a program involving multiple organizations both on and off campus, a food drive and multiple service and educational programs throughout November, Cohen said.
Events include service trips to local food pantry Neighborhood Services Inc., a poverty simulation and a presentation allowing students to understand how food insecurities affects various communities, Cohen said.
“Our goal is to raise awareness about food insecurity in Columbus, and provide opportunities for the students hosting food drives through their organizations to contribute to this initiative,” he said.
Last year, the OSU program collected 10,918 pounds of food while Circle K in Michigan collected 2,265 pounds of food, said Matt Messina, a second-year in operations management and marketing and co-chair of the Battle Against Hunger program.
OSU has beat Michigan in the rivalry since 2011, and Messina said he hopes to see another win and large sum of food collected this year as well.
“(The Battle Against Hunger) is a great initiative with a lot of power to make a positive difference in the Columbus community and raise awareness about food insecurity. Students can host their own food drive, donate to another food drive or participate in any of our awareness or service events,” he said.
Shelby Faulkner, a third-year in agriscience education and co-chair of the program, has been involved with Battle Against Hunger for almost a year and said she appreciates being able to serve.
“Being surrounded by individuals who are passionate about helping others and providing service opportunities to fellow students encourages me to continuously give back,” Faulkner said.
Of the events being held, Faulkner said students would greatly benefit from attending the poverty simulation, being held on Nov. 18 in the Royer Student Activities Center.
The poverty simulation event will provide students with the opportunity to replicate the life of someone living in poverty and will involve presented situations in which students must choose how to spend their limited income, Faulkner said.
“The poverty simulation will be a great opportunity for students to learn more about the reality of food insecurity in our community,” she said.
Students can register to participate in program events through the Pay It Forward website.