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NKU, Kroger Open New Food Pantry to Fight Student Hunger

A new food pantry is open at Northern Kentucky University.

The Kroger Company and NKU joined together to launch FUEL NKU Zero Hunger/Zero Waste Food Pantry. It opened on Wednesday.

The 2,300 square-foot pantry food and essentials to students in a compassionate, confidential, and safe environment, a news release said. Visits to FUEL NKU have grown by 83 percent over the last few years. Last year, it served more than 1,000 students.

“We have dreamed of having a holistic community center for so long, and now it’s a reality thanks to Kroger and the hard work of so many here at NKU. Beyond offering healthy food, the location allows us to provide case management services and connect students to campus and community resources. It’s a supportive approach to address the challenge of food insecurity,” said Dr. Jessica Averitt Taylor, director of the FUEL NKU Zero Hunger/Zero Waste food pantry

The FUEL NKU Zero Hunger/Zero Waste Food Pantry is more than seven-times larger than the old location. The new suite has refrigerated and freezer storage for healthier food options, expanded areas for students to visit and relax after getting supplies.

“The FUEL NKU food pantry partnership is a natural one for Kroger,” said Erin Rolfes, corporate affairs manager for the Cincinnati-Dayton division of The Kroger Co. “Our goal is to eliminate hunger in our region by 2025 by giving our neighbors the tools they need to thrive. The work done by the FUEL NKU team does just that.”

“I’m proud to partner with Kroger to enhance FUEL NKU’s services. Kroger has long, rich history of taking care of the communities it serves, and this is truly a wonderful example of a public private partnership to improve our students’ lives,” said President Ashish Vaidya.

Dr. Taylor created FUEL NKU in 2013, when she noticed students in her classes struggling with hunger. The pantry started out of Dr. Taylor’s office and then moved to a 300-square-foot old mailroom in the University Center. Over the past six years, FUEL NKU has created a campus community committed to fighting hunger. The new location is in the Albright Health Center Suite 104.

-Staff report
Photo by Scott Beseler, NKU photographer