Ohio University

Alumna’s Food Soldier Hunger Coalition partnering with USDA on fresh food distributions in Athens

Published: October 16, 2020 Author: Staff reports

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farmers to Families program is partnering with Ohio University graduate Roshelle Pate’s Food Soldier Hunger Coalition to hold free drive-through grocery distributions in Athens over the next three weeks.

The program will be providing free 35-pound boxes of farm fresh food, including meat, dairy and produce, from 1 to 4 p.m. (or until supplies run out) on Oct. 17, 24 and 31 at Outreach & Crisis Centers, Inc., located at The Carlson Center, 319 W. Union St., in Athens. Approximately 1,500 boxes of food will be available per distribution event. 

“This food is available to everyone, regardless of your income or where you live,” said Pate, the on-site coordinator of the distributions, a military veteran and founder of the Food Soldier Hunger Coalition, and a 1993 graduate of Ohio University’s Scripps College of Communication. “We will be providing one to two boxes of food per family depending on demand. All you have to do is drive up, and our volunteers will load the box into your vehicle.”

No identification is required to receive a food box. For the safety of volunteers, those picking up food boxes are asked to wear a face mask. Local food banks and community, school or veteran organizations are encouraged to contact Roshelle Pate at freefoodsoldier@gmail.com or 614-897-5757 for bulk pick-up on distribution days.

The Farmers to Families food box program was launched in support of American farmers and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In late September, the USDA announced that more than 100 million food boxes had been distributed through the program.