Mid-Ohio Market at Columbus State marks one year of success
Campus News | Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Pictured above: As others look on, Matt Habash, Mid-Ohio Food Collective, left; Kathryne Reeves, Cardinal Health Foundation Board, center; and Columbus State President David Harrison, right; hold up the $700,000 check at the dedication of the Mid-Ohio Market at Columbus State on October 15, 2019.
October marks the one-year anniversary of the Mid-Ohio Market at Columbus State, and it has exceeded expectations. The partnership between the College and the Mid-Ohio Food Collective was designed to address food insecurity for students and other area residents.
On its first day, the Market served 69 households. A year later, it is serving twice that many on an average day. On its busiest day, the Market served 271 households. In the past year, nearly one million pounds of food have been distributed – enough to provide as many as 190,000 individual meals. The most served zip does are 43211, 43224, 43207, and 43215, which is where the Market is located.
The Market is housed in a converted 2,450-square-foot former maintenance equipment garage at 400 Grove Street on the College’s Columbus Campus. It is supported by a $700,000 Cardinal Health Foundation grant. It was dedicated on October 15, 2019. In addition, Kroger and Wasserstrom provided in-kind support of essential equipment that helped establish the facility
It has now become a source of nutritious foods for students who are struggling to provide meals for themselves and their families. The service allows them to more fully concentrate on their education without worrying about consistent access to fresh produce and other staples, while also serving the community at large. The need has been even more pronounced this year as the country has dealt with the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice’s 2019 #RealCollege survey, 48 percent of community college students and 41 percent of four-year university students nationwide are food insecure. Nearly two-thirds of Columbus State students report food insecurity issues.
To embrace social distancing guidelines during the pandemic, the Market began curbside pickup. “At a time when people feel powerless, to have this one moment that we can hopefully change things for the better, that definitely gives you a sense of purpose,” says Matthew Austin, manager at Mid-Ohio Market. It’s the moment where a child holds up a piece of paper to the window that says, ‘thank you,’ and those moments really do keep you grounded around our mission and what we’ve been able to accomplish.”
The Mid-Ohio Market at Columbus State is open Mondays and Thursdays from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and Wednesdays from 3-7 p.m.