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Mid-Ohio Food Bank Takes Aim At Hunger On Columbus State's Campus

Groceries and a sign for Mid-Ohio Market at Columbus State Community College which is operated by the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.
Mid-Ohio Foodbank
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The Mid-Ohio Market at Columbus State Community College is the newest location for the Mid-Ohio Foodback.

The Mid-Ohio Foodbank opened another location on Wednesday in a unique location — a market on Columbus State Community College’s campus. 

The foodbank's president Matt Habash says students are a key group to reach when it comes to food insecurity. 

"It's not the 17-21 year old and the ramen noodle experiment that everyone thinks we have to live through," Habash says. "This is really about people who are working, struggling and trying to go to school."

To be eligible, individuals must bring in an annual income of less than 25,000 dollars. The market, which is located at 400 Grove Street, will be open to both students and the general population three days a week to start.

Habash says hunger is a nationwide problem for college students. 

"Many of them are incurring a lot of debt, in terms of trying to complete their education. And it's compounded in this case because there are a lot of folks that are families that are working and are trying to get their second job to move up, to move out of poverty," he says.

At Columbus State, two thirds of students report food insecurity. Habash adds the quality of food is an important factor.

"They're welcome to access healthy food and that's what's in this market, a lot of fresh food that they normally may not even be able to afford," he says.

The new food market will be open to students and the general population alike 3 days a week to start. The group hopes to operate for 40-60 hours a week eventually. 

On Ohio State's Columbus campus, a pair of food pantries operate for students in need.

OSU's College of Education and Human Ecology in partnership with the Advocates for Communities and Education Scholars, opened a food pantry in January to distribute food and hygiene items out of the Physical Activity and Education Services (PAES) building.

Buckeye Food Alliance, a student organization started in 2014, distributes food out of space in Lincoln Tower.

Ohio State also operates the Buckeye Food Pantry at its Mansfield campus.