Kent State University Women's Center Raises 1,200 Pounds of Food for the Pantry
This September, the Kent State University Women’s Center held a donation drive, called Squirrel Away Food for the Pantry, benefiting the Pantry at the Women’s Center. Now located at the Williamson House, the Women’s Center, along with a number of programs, events and initiatives, contributes to the Kent State community by providing a convenient and caring place to receive food assistance, participate in the SHARE project or simply get needed support.
“Often, when a person goes to a food bank, they will need to show proof of need and show their family size, but the Pantry at the Women’s Center does not require that kind of documentation,” says Cassie Pegg-Kirby, assistant director at the Women’s Center. “Here, they just need to show up and let us help.”
With the leadership of Emily Myers, assistant to the provost, and the generosity of the executive offices, 950 pounds of food and personal care items were collected at the Squirrel Away Food for the Pantry, filling up two full SUVs.
Squirrel Away Food for the Pantry had a total of more than 1,200 pounds of food donated.
“Let’s get food in people’s bellies so they can focus and be successful in their education,” Pegg-Kirby says. “The pantry is here for our campus community, and anyone can donate.”
While the pantry is primarily for the Kent State community, staff at the Women’s Center does not allow someone in the greater Kent community to walk away empty-handed. Because there are additional resources in the city of Kent for food, shelter and personal care needs, Pegg-Kirby will provide information about those resources with some food items so no one has to leave hungry.
“This is what we do as part of a community,” Pegg-Kirby says. “Most of us are not far from needing these resources ourselves. All it takes is one high heating bill or an unexpected expense.”
The Women’s Center provides basic needs so community members can focus on education instead of wondering where they will find their next meal.
Additional ways the Kent State community can get involved or get help is through the SHARE project and giving donations. The SHARE project is an initiative created by the pantry staff to ensure the community is getting more than food items when in need. The SHARE project offers items from diapers to personal care and feminine care products.
“We started to become aware of other needs extending beyond food from people who utilize our resources,” Pegg-Kirby says. “There is an additional opportunity to help the Kent State community with necessities like diapers, feminine hygiene and personal care products.”
There are additional opportunities to learn more about hunger and homelessness in our community and to get involved during National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week on Nov. 14-19. Faculty and students from the College of Public Health in collaboration with the Women’s Center and the Office of Experiential Education and Civic Engagement will be collaborating for this weeklong event.
Community members can still donate year-round to the Women’s Center and the SHARE project.
All donations can be given during the Women’s Center office hours, which are Monday through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.