Building Better Schools: BGSU graduate assistant nationally recognized for philanthropy

Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 7:13 PM EST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (WTVG) - A Bowling Green State University student is being honored for his work to end hunger on campus.

The ‘starving college student’ has been a trope for decades, however, BGSU has made quite the effort to assist students who may be struggling with food insecurity.

“I was here during Covid, as an undergrad, and I noticed a lot of students are struggling really bad. Especially the international students, they were stuck here and didn’t have any food,” said Lorenzo Zamora, a scholarship winner and graduate assistant at the Falcon Food Pantry. “They had to use community food pantries, and why not have a pantry on campus, that’s convenient, and they came come once a week.”

The Falcon Food Pantry opened in February 2022.

“Our hashtag model is feeding student success, so we are here to support students to help them succeed, to persist to graduation and to go on and get a really successful career,” said Dr. Shannon Orr, Director of the Falcon Food Party.

The Falcon Food Pantry is open to anyone with a BGSU ID to use once per week to select a bag of food and hygiene items.

“We get students that are working a lot of hours,” said Orr. “They’re trying to juggle responsibilities life school, and we’re here to make it a little bit easier for them to do that.”

Zamora is a huge part of the pantry’s success. He was selected as a winner of the 2022 Nachman Justice Award from Swipe Out Hunger, a National nonprofit organization.

Zamora is one of three students nationwide to be recognized for efforts to eradicate food insecurity on college campuses. He’ll receive a $1,000 prize earmarked for college expenses such as tuition, housing and books.

“It really makes me feel happy,” said Zamora. “It makes me feel accomplished. It’s nice to be able to help people that are going through a tough time or just college students. In general, it’s very tough to make ends meet and go to school at the same time.”

Dr. Orr said she’s proud of Zamora’s work at the pantry.

“Lorenzo is such a wonderful graduate assistant. We are so lucky to have him here at the Falcon Food Pantry,” said Orr. “His never-ending optimism and positive spirit. His willingness to do all of the grunt work that goes into running a food pantry, we’re so lucky that he’s here. We’re so proud of him that he won this really big deal national award.”

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