The Ohio State University Alumni Association

Buckeye volunteers feed 76,000 people

Music and spirits were upbeat as 219 Buckeye volunteers came together to pack 76,320 meals for the hungry in central Ohio on April 14.

As part of a collaborative effort between Ohio State’s Office of Volunteer Relations and The Pack Shack, volunteers got to work in the Ohio Union hours after food security issues were discussed at the inaugural Buckeye Summit.

Joanne Kitchen ’62 and Pamela Hager ’80, members of the Alumnae Scholarship Housing Society, were all smiles as they scooped up rice and dry mixes of vegetables and vitamin blends. Those were funneled into bags, vacuum-sealed and packed up for delivery to families in need of nutritious, satisfying meals.

Hager said, “We’re part of a group of women who have been paying forward for 80 years — and who continue to do so.”

The group should keep an eye out for Joye Williams. The 6-year-old, her 5-year-old brother, Omari, and parents were paying forward as second-time Buckeye Volunteers.

“I like volunteering because it’s nice to be helpful!” Joye said.

Her mom, Beatriz Diez ’04, was glad to hear her daughter understood why they were there: “It makes me feel great that she knows someone can make a difference at her age. It’s a great message for anyone in the community.”

Joye Williams, 6, and her family are becoming regulars at Buckeye Volunteer events. Her mom, Beatriz Diez ’04, says it’s important for her children to know that they can make a difference in their community at any age.