Ohio State students, faculty, staff and alumni packed 200,000 meals in an hour and a half for the Military Veterans Resource Center at French Field House Tuesday evening.
In a collaboration with the Kind Columbus initiative at the Columbus Foundation, Ohio State will be distributing the meals to 140,000 veterans who are food insecure —without reliable access to quality and nutritious food — across the state of Ohio. Former Ohio State football player Ken Blair, along with Office of Student Life staff, will deliver the meals in an Ohio State football-themed tractor trailer Wednesday.
This is the third year the meal packing has taken place, but the first year it is being done for military veterans.
The group will drive to the Chillicothe Resource Center and the Hamilton Resource Center, where they will unload the truck with students and veterans. The rest of the food will be put in a Columbus warehouse and sent to veterans across the state, Tracy Stuck, assistant vice president for student life, said.
More than 200,000 meals were packed and donated throughout Athens, Ohio, last year, Stuck said.
“The amount of cheers and people thanking us was overwhelming,” Stuck said.
This year’s event focused on veterans because of the upcoming Ohio State football game against University of Maryland Nov. 9, which is going to be dedicated to veterans, Stuck said. After hearing about the game, she said she learned that many Ohio veterans face food insecurity, and Student Life reached out to the Military Veterans Resource Center.
The event spreads kindness across the community, which is an important part of being an Ohio State student, Julia Dennen, Undergraduate Student Government vice president and fourth-year in public affairs who was participating in the event, said.
“When we are doing service and when we are connecting with alumni and other students, I find much of that purpose is what it means to be a Buckeye,” Dennen said.
Through one night of packing meals, Ohio State can impact hundreds of families and give people across Ohio food, Dennen said.
“There is the tangible impact of families getting food and then there is also a cool opportunity for people to connect and bond over being a Buckeye,” Dennen said.
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