It all started with OSU Student Life Program Director, Tracy Stuck, contacting OSU extension offices in Pike, Jackson, and Scioto counties. Students on the Columbus campus would be preparing 120,000 shelf-stable meals as part of their contribution to the annual Ohio State University Day of Giving.

They selected the three southern Ohio counties to be recipients for this 2021 event. This connection was made as part of OSU’s Extension outreach in all 88 counties in the state. Extension offices provide outreach for the university to work with local communities by providing research-based information and programming.

Once this connection was established, OSU Extension staff worked to secure commitments from local organizations, agencies, churches, and schools to distribute the meals in their county. Pike County received a total of 27,216 meals.

Meals were delivered to the Pike County Fairgrounds on Wednesday, March 24 via the Ohio State University football equipment semi-trailer. OSU Extension staff, along with Piketon High School FFA members, unloaded boxes and then loaded them in vehicles as the county groups arrived for pick-up.

A total of 15 groups will be distributing meals. These groups include: Camp Creek Township Trustees, Community Action Headstart, Community Action Mobile Food Pantry, Grace United Methodist Church, Jasper Elementary, Miracle City Academy, Pike Christian Academy, Pike County CTC, Pike County Senior Center, Pike Outreach, Piketon High School, Vanguard Ministries, Waverly City Schools, Western Local Schools, and YMCA.

The total cost for the meals that were provided by the Office of Student Life was $50,000. Their generosity and willingness to give back will provide thousands of meals to families in southern Ohio. OSU Extension is grateful for our connection to the faculty, staff, and students at Ohio State University.

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