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Food Pantry

By Ashley Alonzo
On September 12, 2016


Photo by: Ashley Alonzo

Are you hungry? Do you feel like sometimes you don’t have enough money or time to grab food at the Bistro? Well, John Holzhuter, the university chaplain, has a program for students at Ottawa University who are in need of food and don’t have enough swipes to feed their hunger.

There are different ways the food pantry works: One, you come in and take. And two, you give and take. The first option means that students are welcome to come in to the bottom floor of Atkinson Hall, write their name and OU identification number on the sign-in sheet and grab the food. The second option addresses donations from students to make exchanges for other goods. For example, “If students receive a care package and have any foods that they don’t like but others students would, they are more than welcome to come in and donate them, as well as grabbing a snack they would like in return,”  Holzhuter says.

For the Chaplain and the students, this process usually comes in handy because if a student takes more than one as they come in, they are more than welcome to, but if they come about twice every day, Holzhuter tries to set a meeting with them to talk about other food programs that could be beneficial.

Nonetheless, students may wonder where does the food come from if not all is donated by students. The answer is quite broad, because “give and take” is in fact not the only way Holzhuter obtains his products -- farms and stores also take part of this process.

Mac and cheese, instant rice, ramen, canned vegetables and fruits, among other options, are the products that are fast and easy to grab between classes. These options might not be very healthy to eat on a daily basis, but they are great when hunger strikes. In addition, the food pantry also has specialties during holidays, such as sweets and different entries to celebrate the festivities.

“If any students are interested in donating food, their best options are foods that are well-closed or canned, such as tuna or canned chicken, nothing frozen, and preferable room-temperature foods” Holzhuter says. The chaplain also confirms that, although an average number of students already come in and  others are assisted in joining other food associations, he would like to make “the food pantry” able to reach out to more students in need.

“Just stop by and check it out, this food pantry is for the students, and therefore I would like them to find out about it and help themselves. It is my pleasure to help students who need it because this is what I do, and I love doing it,” Holzhuter says.

As he said, go check it out if you are in need of some food, and if not, it would be great to have more students and community members contribute to this awesome initiative!  

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