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Students gather donations for Ada food pantry as part of nonprofit project

The Ada Food Pantry aids 150–200 people, or 55–70 households each month. (Northern Review photo/Grant Pepper)

The Ada Food Pantry aids 150–200 people, or 55–70 households each month. (Northern Review photo/Grant Pepper)

As of March 15, a group of nonprofit management students have been collecting donations of nonperishable food items, paper products, and personal hygiene products for the Ada Food Pantry.

The Ada Food Pantry provides a two to three day supply of food to local people in need. Each month 150–200 people, or 55–70 households, receive aid.

There are donation boxes in the Dicke Atrium as well as the McIntosh Center near the entrance to the dining hall. The drive will run until April 15.

The idea for the drive first came about as part of a class project, where students have to work in small groups and collaborate with a nonprofit on a project to get a feel for what it’s like working with a nonprofit.

Although the project was encouraged by their professor, Kaitlann Hogrefe, one of the participating students, said that they did choose to work with the Ada Food Pantry because it was a nonprofit “that we had a passion for. We are trying to make a difference.”

The class is run by Joanne Schieltz, and Hogrefe’s other group members include Allan Gorby, Nicole Glaza, and Dustin Carr.

The Ada Food Pantry is entirely supported by donations from individuals, churches, community groups, and Ohio Northern University. Donations can be made by individuals, groups, or through fundraisers. Income-qualified residents who live in the service area may come to the Pantry once a month to receive a two to three day supply of food and toiletries.  The Pantry's service area encompasses Ada, Dola, Liberty Township and Washington Township in Hardin County, Ohio.

In addition to the items being donated, the students will also be setting up a class trip to the pantry where they will do an hour of community service.

Hogrefe said that she has definitely learned a lot during this process, like how working with a nonprofit is different, and much slower paced, than working with a for-profit organization.

Up until this point there hasn’t been as much response to the initiative as the group would like, but they are still optimistic, citing that most people usually donate at the last minute. As the semester draws closer to an end, they hope that students will be more open to donating as they clean out their rooms and prepare for the summer.

“We really need people to donate by April 15th!” Hogrefe said.

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