Total Essentials Pantry drive

Social Work Class Meeting Essential Community Needs

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by Brianna Coffey, Student Public Relations Writer

Senior social work students from Cedarville University are working to create a connection between the university and surrounding communities. Through a class project, in conjunction with Cedarville United Presbyterian Church, the students are collecting essential items for the church’s Total Essentials Pantry.

The project, from March 15-29, is part of the Social Work Practice with Community and Organizations class, a required class taught by Prof. Sandi Wagner. 

“Our vision for the project is to bridge the gap of essential needs from area residents and reconnect by empowering the community of Cedarville,” said Bethany Marcolesco, a senior social work major from Wichita, Kansas. 

Since the United Presbyterian church already receives many food donations, the main needs for the pantry are household and personal items, including shampoo, feminine products, diapers, and formula. The COVID-19 pandemic caused these items to be in even higher demand. 

Donations can be dropped off in designated boxes located in several university buildings, including the Stevens Student Center, Center for Biblical and Theological Studies, Health Sciences Center, Engineering and Science Center, and Callan Athletic Center. 

The class hopes for long-term engagement with the food bank in the future. “Seeing the heart students have for reaching unmet needs is a clear reflection of the heart of Jesus,” said Wagner. 

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,550 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 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 its Bachelor of Science in Social Work program, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu