Pharmacy School Builds Model to Help Solve Food Insecurities
Being a pharmacist is all about helping others. Inspired to help college students avoid issues like food insecurities, Cedarville University’s School of Pharmacy and the Kroger Company are continuing their partnership that provides the university’s Doctor of Pharmacy and Prepharmacy students with a food pantry.
Bates hopes the food pantry at Cedarville University will become a model for other pharmacy schools across the country. Modeling whole-person care for pharmacy school students is likely to result in graduates who strive to meet all their patients' needs once they become pharmacists
In 2021, the school of pharmacy started a food pantry after Dr. Jeff Bates learned that students across the United States sometimes were unable to access proper meals. According to current research in the Journal of Health Affairs, 30% of college students experience food insecurity at some point during their college years. Although many undergraduate students living on campus have meal plans, including at Cedarville, food insecurity still finds its way into the lives of many students.
This national research motivated Kroger to provide funding for necessary food options to stock the pantry. Throughout the academic year, Kroger will provide free, nonperishable foods that any Cedarville pharmacy student can take whenever they are hungry or want a snack.
Kroger and Cedarville's school of pharmacy will continue this partnership for the foreseeable future.
“They’re a great pharmacy partner, especially in helping us fight food insecurity,” said Bates, dean of the school of pharmacy. “We couldn’t be more grateful for their support.”
Reasons for food insecurity can differ, making it widespread across a variety of student classifications.
“Sometimes students can only afford to eat two meals a day, which isn’t always enough,” said Bates. “Additionally, graduate students can sometimes fall through the cracks since they are typically living off campus without a meal plan for the first time.”
Cedarville University School of Pharmacy’s mission statement is to equip student pharmacists to assess and meet the comprehensive health needs of diverse populations through patient-centered care, servant leadership, ethical decision-making, interprofessional collaboration, scholarly innovation, and continued personal and professional development.
“Here, we believe that pharmacy is family,” said Dr. Aleda Chen, associate dean of pharmacy. “Scripture calls us to take care of those in need and provide for our family. This is one of the ways we can do that.”
Concern for students’ access to food staples nationwide led Cedarville’s pharmacy faculty to start the food pantry, supplying its students with needed gas cards, gift cards, and nonperishable food items.
Kroger’s donation will help feed students through this food bank for years to come.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 5,082 undergraduate, graduate, and dual-enrolled high school students in more than 175 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including the Doctor of Pharmacy program, high graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and the #4 national ranking by the Wall Street Journal for student engagement. For more information about the University, visit cedarville.edu.
Written by Alex Boesch