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 public health concern, with many of our students carrying the burden of being food insecure. In response to this need, the PSUGA food security initiative was launched in the Fall of 2018 with a generous grant from the Jefferson Regional Foundation. As a campus, we have been 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.
- 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, Director
- Student Affairs – Justin Dandoy, Associate Director of Student Affairs
- Biobehavioral Health Program - Kristal Tucker, PhD Assistant Professor of Biology
- Health Sciences Club - Student Organization
- Engineering - Alandra Kahl, PhD Assistant Teaching Professor of Environmental Engineering
- Continuing Education - Eric Ewell, Director
- Jefferson Regional Foundation
- Generous Donations from Campus Alumni
- Tackle Hunger Giving Challenge
- 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 were distributed to students with a valid PSU student ID that met income eligibility requirements, or who were facing hardship. The GA Pop-up Market was held in either the Ostermayer Room or the lower level of the Kelly Library. Pop-up markets held in the Ostermayer room included cooking demonstrations showcasing recipes available in meal kits.
Academic Year 2018-2019
- September 2018, (26) students were served.
- January 2019, (38) students were served.
Academic Year 2019-2020
- September 2019, (66) students were served.
- October 2019, (52) students were served.
- November 2019, (60) students were served.
- February 2020, (69) students were served.
Meal Plan Support
Students whose meal plans were running low could request assistance using an online form. Faculty and staff were able to make student referrals, using the same form, if they are aware of students in need.
- Spring 2019, Meal Plan Support was provided to (14) students with an average amount of $75 per student.
- Fall 2019, Meal Plan Support was provided to (21) students with an average amount of $75 per student.
Covid-19 Grocery Store Gift Card Program
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, food security funds were used to purchase gift cards to local grocery stores for students who were in need.
- Spring 2020, (22) students were assisted with $100 gift cards to local grocery stores.
Campus Grab & Go Stations
Campus Grab & Go Stations were strategically and discreetly placed in high traffic areas on campus frequented by students. Offerings included 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. Students utilized these stations frequently and they had to be refilled on a regular basis.
- Office Locations – Main Lobby – Frable building, ACE Office – Kelly Library Lower Level, Learning Center – Kelly Library Lower Level, Nurses Office – SCC, Registrars Office - Frable building
- Little Food Pantry – Located outside near the red lot and is modeled after the “Little Free Library”. Non-perishable food items that are canned or sealed are available for students to eat on the go. The philosophy of the “Little Food Pantry” is to take what you need and leave what you can.