Central Penn College Earns State Designation as a Hunger-Free Campus

Hunger Free Campus Central Penn College

The Pennsylvania Department of Education has officially  recognized Central Penn College’s efforts to combat hunger on campus by designating the 141-yer-old college as a “Hunger-Free Campus.”

With this designation, the college may be eligible for funding at a later date to help feed students in need, expand its on-campus food pantry, and build partnerships with surrounding community food pantries.

“Statistics show that more than a third of students know someone who dropped out of college due to food insecurity during the pandemic,” said college president Dr. Linda Fedrizzi-Williams. “Also of great concern to us is that more than half of the students who faced food or housing insecurity in recent years did not apply for support because they did not know how. We want to provide the education needed for students to get help quickly, along with convenient, nutritious foods, so students can thrive, without worrying about where their next meal is coming from on any given day.”

Dr. Fedrizzi said Central Penn College officials have been working for years to provide students and their families with greater access to healthy food. Many of their students work full- or part-time jobs while going to school, and many receive no financial support at all from their families. The college has an on-campus food pantry that is used frequently, with plans to expand it with  shelving, a refrigerator, a freezer, a microwave, and microwave-ready food.

The college also hopes its designation will help to boost awareness of the food pantry to increase usage, and to expand the kinds of food available.

The pantry provides basic staple items, fresh produce, canned food, cereal, pasta, deli meats,  cheeses, and more, but many students are requesting microwave-ready foods.

The grant is also designed to help students who don’t have access to or know how to apply for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

For more information on the Pennsylvania Hunger-Free Campus Initiative, please visit www.education.com/PAHungerFreeCampus or contact us at RA-EDHUNGERFREECAMPUS@pa.gov.

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