Ohio Dominican University is collaborating with local community partners to enhance access to fresh and nutritious food for those who live in neighborhoods near its campus.
ODU students, faculty and staff have joined an effort led by leaders at The Charles School at ODU and the Mid-Ohio Food Collective to host monthly fresh produce drives locally. During the four-hour drives, volunteers package and distribute fresh produce at The Charles School, which is located next to campus on Brentnell Avenue in northeast Columbus. The Charles School is a five-year, tuition-free early college high school where students can graduate with a high school diploma and an associate’s degree.
During its drive on Aug. 24, clients had access to a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables, including watermelons, peppers, onions, cucumbers and celery.
Following the drives, a portion of the remaining produce is made available to members of the ODU community through its campus food resource, the Campus Cupboard, which was created in fall 2019 to address issues of food insecurity among students. Housed in the Career Development Center, the Campus Cupboard offers a wide range of non-perishable food items that are available free to charge to any students who need them.
“This is who we are as a community – we are here to educate students, prepare leaders and serve others,” said Paul Newell, who serves as a career center coordinator and also manages the Campus Cupboard. “I am excited to see how we can expand on these important and exciting initiatives so we can touch even more lives both on and off campus. I am grateful to The Charles School and the Mid-Ohio Food Collective for their leadership and collaboration, and also for our enthusiastic students, faculty and staff who have supported this effort and are committed to making the world a better place.”