In the fall of 2009, a group involved in coordinating student service-learning and community service activities at Wright State University discovered that a number of faculty and staff members were encountering students in need of food. A campus survey revealed that 48% of students polled had experienced food insecurity while attending WSU. Food insecurity among students at WSU is the result of several factors.
Students attending college away from home may have access to social services in their home communities, but may have limited access in Greene County, where the University is located. Many WSU students must balance family, work and school. Some students have recently become underemployed or unemployed. These difficulties have become increasingly problematic for college students during our present economic conditions, especially students with families. This discovery led Cathy Sayer, Director of Service-Learning, to write a Host Site application to secure an AmeriCorps*VISTA employee. Rebecca Fensler, an Ohio Campus Compact AmeriCorps*VISTA, served as the coordinator for the WSU Friendship Food Pantry from 2011 through 2012.
The Friendship Food Pantry is currently managed by the Office of Vice President for Student Affairs under the direct supervision of Simone G. Polk, Assistant Vice President for Student Services and coordinated by Carine Verlin, Graduate Assistant, Student Affairs in Higher Education Graduate Program.