Over one-third of students know someone who dropped out of college due to food insecurity during the pandemic1. Roughly 52% of students who faced food or housing insecurity in 2020 did not apply for support because they did not know how2. Colleges and universities across the country are taking steps to address these issues so students can focus on their education instead of where to find their next meal.
To advance student food security efforts across the state, the Pennsylvania Office of the First Lady and the Department of Education (PDE) are piloting the
Pennsylvania Hunger-Free Campus initiative. The initiative includes building a coalition of colleges and universities focused on addressing hunger and other basic needs for their students; creating opportunities for connection among student hunger advocates; providing resources and strategies for campuses; and supporting opportunities to apply for grants related to addressing food insecurity.
Pennsylvania colleges and universities that are taking the steps to address student hunger are invited to apply for the PA Hunger-Free Campus designation. Institutions that achieve this designation will:
- Receive a certificate of recognition from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
- Receive public recognition through placement on the
PA Hunger-Free Campus website with a statement indicating that the campus is committed to supporting the health and well-being of students and is part of the collective effort to raise awareness and assistance for food insecurity.
- Be able to use the
PA Hunger-Free Campus logo on materials to indicate the institution's awareness of and focus on solving student hunger.
- Be prepared for related grant opportunities that may become available.
For more information on the Pennsylvania Hunger-Free Campus Initiative, please contact us at RA-EDHUNGERFREECAMPUS@pa.gov
1 2020 State of the Student: COVID-19 & Food Insecurity | Chegg.org
2 #RealCollege 2021: Basic Needs Insecurity During the Ongoing Pandemic | The Hope Center (hope4college.com)