UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Across the University, Penn State offers various resources to help students with food and housing insecurity, financial issues and basic needs. Among these efforts, Penn State's campus food pantries are helping to support students and alleviate everyday stressors such as figuring out what food to put on the table.
Campus pantries are an important focus of the University Task Force on Food and Housing Security, which was charged by Penn State President Eric Barron in February 2020 to address this challenge and to recommend areas for continued growth and improvement across campuses.
Notably, the Lion's Pantry at University Park is currently undergoing a dual-phase renovation featuring additions to expand its services and to provide fresh, refrigerated and frozen foods. The pantry has reopened its space on Services Road this semester for in-person shopping after temporarily closing for the first phase of renovations and serving students out of Market East, located in Findlay Commons.
Though, Penn State’s food pantries aren’t just experiencing physical changes. By developing new solutions like online ordering and expanding their networks of support, campus pantries are improving their operations for both current and future students.
“Food and housing insecurity has been a hidden problem among college students across the country, and the person beside you may be struggling without you knowing” said Tim Balliett, director of the Center for Character, Conscience, and Public Purpose. “Providing food to those in need can make a very tangible and noticeable difference in their lives and in their success as students. It may be the difference between whether that individual has a meal that day or not.”