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Timely Fowler gift serves hundreds during pandemic

Posted November 10, 2020 in Articles

At any point, a gift to Cleveland State University is an extraordinary gesture of generosity. And that is never more true of the $1,000,000 gift that Cleveland philanthropists Char and Chuck Fowler gave over a year ago to combat food insecurity on campus.

The support paved way to relocate the Lift Up Vikes! Resource and Food Pantry to a more accessible campus location and nearly triple its size. The gift also created an emergency Fowler Fund, providing small grants to students who experience unforeseen expenses that could negatively affect their ability to pay rent or continue to stay enrolled in school.

And then came 2020, a wallop of a year.

Applications for emergency aid skyrocketed and close to 100 students received support from the Fowler Fund, largely for housing costs. It was a 528 percent increase in approved grants over the period just before the onset of the coronavirus.

Since reopening in its new location, the center has distributed over two tons of food to 126 students.

“The gift from the Fowler Family has meant everything to the Lift Up Vikes! Resource Center and Food Pantry,” said Holly Fish, coordinator of the center and food pantry.

“Because of this gift, we have been able to create a space in the middle of campus for students to receive nutritious food and we hope this location decreases the stigma of food insecurity. Also because of their generosity and the Fowler Emergency Fund, we have been able to help 157 students since August 2019 in crisis situations such as evictions, utility turn-offs, and car repairs to stay in school and succeed.”

Learn more about Lift Up Vikes! and how to donate.

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