In the fall of 2013, Dr. Jessica Taylor, an assistant professor of social work, noticed that something was wrong with one of her best students. The normally outgoing, positive, and participating student was missing class, assignments, and not caring about a grade.
Taylor met with the student and it turned out there was a problem—the student was hungry.
“This entire project started with just one hungry student,” Taylor says.
FUEL NKU (Feeding the University and Enriching Lives) and the NKU Food Bank were born. NKU Food Bank is a campus- based food bank, providing food to students and their families who are in need.
“Our NKU students have really been leaders on every step,” Taylor says. Now there is a permanent setup in the University Center where students can go if they need basic toiletry supplies or something to eat.
More than 100 students then gathered on campus to help raise donations for the pantry, including Amineh Abu- Rimileh, a 22-year-old social work student from Chicago who served as a FUEL NKU ambassador. “I was able to get the news to cover our flash mob event to raise awareness of hunger on campus,” she says. “I am humbled to see this amazing organization flourish. I was able to communicate with others the importance of this organization and spread awareness of campus hunger.”