Students, faculty and staff from Penn State Greater Allegheny recently volunteered at the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank located in Duquesne. Twenty-eight students from IST 111S (Freshman Seminar in IST) and ENVST 100 (Visions of Nature) classes helped in the agency's repack center, sorting through large donations of food, beverages and other grocery items and repackaging them into smaller packages for pickup and distribution at the hundreds of smaller food pantries, soup kitchens, and distribution agencies in the Food Bank's eleven-county service area.
As part of the day's activities, the PSUGA volunteers toured the Food Bank's warehouse and facilities. The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank is a LEED certified green building. Participants of the tour learned first hand how technology is used to help the Food Bank conserve resources and energy in its attempt to divert as much of its resources as possible to feed the hungry.
Currently the students in ENVST 100 are engaged in a larger class project, coordinating a food drive at the campus to benefit the Food Bank. The food drive and volunteer hours at the community agency are two of many service projects in which students at Penn State Greater Allegheny engage. Courses at PSUGA can utilize service learning into the class curriculum to count toward the intercollege minor in Civic and Community Engagement. Sara Ahrens, Community Engagement Coordinator , oversees the service learning component of the minor. The campus strives to actively engage our students in issues relevant to the local, national and global communities to prepare them as informed and active citizens. The campus currently has over 20 partnerships with community agencies.