A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

NKU, Kroger celebrate opening of new expanded Fuel NKU food pantry – aiming for zero hunger, zero waste

Northern Kentucky University and The Kroger Co. celebrated the opening of the new FUEL NKU Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Food Pantry on the university campus.

The 2,300 square-foot pantry is the result of a partnership between Kroger and NKU to fight hunger on campus. FUEL NKU provides food and essentials to students in a compassionate, confidential and safe environment.

Visits to FUEL NKU have grown by 83 percent over the last few years. Last year, it served more than 1,000 students.

Photos by NKU photographer Scott Beseler.

“We have dreamed of having a holistic community center for so long, and now it’s a reality thanks to Kroger and the hard work of so many here at NKU. Beyond offering healthy food, the location allows us to provide case management services and connect students to campus and community resources. It’s a supportive approach to address the challenge of food insecurity,” said Dr. Jessica Averitt Taylor, director of the FUEL NKU Zero Hunger/Zero Waste food pantry.

The FUEL NKU Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Food Pantry is more than seven times larger than the old location. The new suite has refrigerated and freezer storage for healthier food options, expanded areas for students to visit and relax after getting supplies.

“The FUEL NKU food pantry partnership is a natural one for Kroger,” said Erin Rolfes, corporate affairs manager for the Cincinnati-Dayton division of The Kroger Co. “Our goal is to eliminate hunger in our region by 2025 by giving our neighbors the tools they need to thrive. The work done by the FUEL NKU team does just that.”

“I’m proud to partner with Kroger to enhance FUEL NKU’s services. Kroger has a long, rich history of taking care of the communities it serves, and this is truly a wonderful example of a public-private partnership to improve our students’ lives,” said President Ashish Vaidya.

Dr. Taylor created FUEL NKU in 2013 when she noticed students in her classes struggling with hunger. The pantry started out of Dr. Taylor’s office and then moved to a 300-square-foot old mailroom in the University Center.

Over the past six years, FUEL NKU has created a campus community committed to fighting hunger.

The new location is in the Albright Health Center Suite 104.

NKU Pres. Vaidya checks out the aisles in the expanded Fuel NKY food pantry.

Donate to the FUEL NKU store at this link.

Related Posts


  1. Wayne Werff says:

    Can anyone shop here to support this facility?

    • Judy Clabes says:

      Mr. Werff, The store is open only to NKU students who have to show their student card. But donations can be made to the story at the link we have added to the end of the story.

  2. Wayne Werff says:

    Ok. Thank you Judy for the information. And God bless you all

Leave a Comment