Donors replenish NKU pantry after break-in

Posted at 5:48 PM, Feb 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-08 18:46:16-05

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. -  Police are searching for someone who ripped off the pantry for needy students at Northern Kentucky University. But there's a silver lining to this story.

The FUEL NKU pantry has been completely restocked in its new home thanks to generous donors.

About 10 days ago, Shayla Robbins  went to the pantry's former home in Founder's Hall and got quite a shock.

"The door was wide open, the light was on and it was apparent that everything had been ransacked," said Robbins.

Thieves took everything -- food, personal care items, school supplies -- much to the dismay of assistant professor Jessica Averitt Taylor, who began the program three years ago with one shelf in her office.

"More so than feeling angry, I feel disappointed because if they had asked we would have given it to them. We are a free food pantry," Taylor said. "But, clearly someone needed it and so I hope that they ate it."

Donations came pouring in from all over the area, and now the new home of FUEL NKU in the University Center is filled to the brim.

"The outpouring of support has been unbelievable, not only from campus, but from local churches and other people kind of letting their families know," said Shannon Scherer, a master's student who was helping stock shelves Monday.

That's good news for NKU students like freshman Cheyenne Meredith, who has lived much of the past five years on the streets.

"If it wasn't for Fuel NKU providing toiletries, providing toilet paper, providing canned goods, I would have to go to the community and ask for a handout," Meredith said.

NKU Police are tracking down leads in the case and hope to make an arrest soon. While that's ongoing, Chief Les Kachurek said the department has donated to help replenish the shelves.

"Any time that something negative occurs, I've found that there's always the proverbial silver lining and that good comes out of it and often times that good is ten-fold," Kachurek said.

FIND more information at the FUEL NKU Facebook page.