Food Security Initiative

Overview: 

Food insecurity is a nationally recognized issue affecting college students across the United States.  It is estimated that as many as half of American undergraduates’ experience food insecurity while pursuing college degrees, and beyond the physical hunger students experience, food insecurity has been shown to adversely affect academic performance and rates of degree completion (Hope4College.com).

Penn State Greater Allegheny is not exempt from this challenge, with many of our students carrying the burden of being food insecure.  As a campus, we are committed to enhancing the quality of life for our students by providing access to services and resources that address not only food insecurity, but housing insecurity and mental wellness.  We proudly stand as an agent, champion, and advocate for any student who needs help meeting their most basic needs.

Campus Collaborative Partners:

  • Chancellor's Office - Dr. Jacqueline Edmondson, Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer
  • The Center for Academic and Career Excellence - Erica Willis, Director
  • The Gruskin Learning Center - Siobhan Brooks, Coordinator
  • Student Affairs - Evan Williams, Residential Education Specialist
  • Biobehavioral Health Program - Kristal Tucker, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Biology
  • Health Sciences Club - Student Organization
  • Engineering - Alandra Kahl, Ph.D. Assistant Teaching Professor of Environmental Engineering
  • Continuing Education - Eric Ewell, Director
  • Alumni, Development & Donor Relations - Laura King, Director of Alumni Relations

Community Partners

  • Jefferson Regional Foundation – Funder
  • Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank
  • 412 Food Rescue

GA Pop-Up Market

The GA Pop-Up Market is a mobile food pantry model.  Non-perishable food, fresh produce, toiletries, and laundry items are distributed to students with a valid PSU student ID that meet income eligibility requirements, or who are facing hardship.  The GA Pop-up Market will be held in either the Ostermayer Room or the lower level of the Kelly library on a monthly basis.  Pop-up markets held in the Ostermayer room will include cooking demonstrations showcasing recipes available in the meal kits.  

GA Market Online Orders

The GA Market is based on a traditional food pantry model.  Food items, meal kits, toiletries, and laundry detergent are available for distribution to students with a valid PSU student ID that meet income eligibility requirements, or who are facing hardship.  The GA Market is located in the lower level of the Frable building next to the Free Store.  An online form requesting food items and fresh produce will be available to request items in the market.  Orders must be placed on Wednesday by midnight, and bags will be available for pick-up starting on Monday of the following week.  In the event you need immediate access to food resources, please contact Erica Willis [email protected]  

Meal Kit Orders

Students can pre-order bags that consist of 5 meals that include non-perishable food items (ie salmon, tuna, spaghetti, flavored rice, soup, canned vegetables, etc).  Recipe cards are included with each meal. 

Fresh Produce Orders

Students can pre-order fresh produce once per month, and it will be available for pick-up at the GA Pop-up Market. 

Campus Grab & Go Stations

Campus Grab & Go Stations are strategically and discreetly placed in high traffic areas on campus that students frequent. Offerings include small containers of canned fruit, sealed containers with granola bars and crackers, and other snacks that are nutritious and easy to eat on the run.  

Little Food Pantry – Located outside near the red lot and is modeled after the “Little Free Library”. The Little Free Food Pantry is located near the commuter lot. Non-perishable food items that are canned or sealed are available for students to eat on the go. Modeled after the “Little Free Library,” the Little Free Food Pantry is located near the commuter lot. Non-perishable grab-and-go items are available to the community and for students to eat as they go to classes. This includes small containers of canned fruit, sealed containers with granola bars and crackers, and other snacks that are nutritious and easy to eat on the run.  The philosophy of the “Little Food Pantry” is to take what you need and leave what you can.

  • Main Lobby – Frable building
  • Student Commuter Lounge – SCC Lower level near student government offices
  • Nurses Office – SCC
  • ACE Office – Kelly Library Lower Level
  • Learning Center – Kelly Library Lower Level
  • Registrars Office - Frable building

Comfort Stations

Toiletry Items (soap, feminine hygiene products, deodorant, toothpaste, etc) are available in bathrooms located in the lower level of the Kelly Library.

Meal Plan Support

Students whose meal plans are running low can request assistance using an online form. Faculty and staff are also welcome to make student referrals, using the same form, if they are aware of students in need.

Community Garden

Engineering students, supervised by Dr. Alandra Kahl, planted the first community garden in the fall of 2017.  Students learned about sustainable gardening and applied newly acquired knowledge to the gardening efforts.  Students utilized sustainable gardening practices that relied on the use of beneficial insects, diversity of plants, and the use of compost to supply the soil with nutrients.