Students in need of food or other household items can stop by Bowling Green State University’s food pantry.
The Falcon Food Pantry opened in January and provides services to all BGSU students, faculty and staff. Located in Central Hall room 109, students can stop in once a week to pick up any grocery items they may need.
Shannon Orr, the director of the Falcon Food and Resource Community which operates the food pantry, said that after the pandemic hit the university began noticing more students were facing financial challenges. She said they thought a food pantry would be a good way to support students.
“We really want every student who is maybe going through a tough time, to feel comfortable coming to the pantry and picking up a bag of food,” Orr said.
All the items donated to the pantry come from donors or one of the food banks located in Toledo. The food pantry offers non-perishable food items, diapers, hygiene items, allergy-friendly items and international items.
Orr said anyone who is looking to donate should focus on food items that are easy for students to use such as ramen, rice, salsa, pasta sauce and salad dressing.
The food pantry doesn’t just provide a service for students, it also helps with education about food insecurity.
“Our mission is around teaching, research and service,” Orr said.
Every semester a graduate assistant from the Master of Public Administration program helps run day-to-day management at the food pantry. Along with that, they hire five interns each semester.
The interns work on an undergraduate research project while at the pantry, which Orr said connects their major with the work they do at the food pantry. She also said one of the goals of the pantry is to find better ways to support people who want to do research on food insecurity.
Along with the research being done at the pantry, Orr said they are working on adding ways to teach students about food insecurity. Currently, the library has a guide for anyone who is interested in teaching or learning more about food insecurity.
Orr is a professor in the Master of Public Administration program and the undergraduate political science program.
She said she loves being involved in the food pantry because it gives her an opportunity to help students in a new way.
“I like that I’m now in a position where I’m able to kind of give back and support students in a different way,” she said. “Both through food and also through the opportunities created by the internship program.”
The food pantry will be open during the fall semester on Mondays from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Wednesdays from 2:30-5:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Those looking to donate can find more information online at www.bgsu.edu/ffrc/falcon-food-pantry.
“It took a team of people to make this happen,” Orr said. “It’s a great collaboration across the university.”