$1 million in PA Hunger-Free Campus grants have been awarded to 28 institutions of higher education (IHE) and private licensed schools to combat student hunger across the state.
“With more than a third of students knowing someone who dropped out of college due to food insecurity during the pandemic, hunger affects far too many postsecondary students across the nation,” said Gov. Wolf. “The PA Hunger-Free Campus designation and grant program gives Pennsylvania’s colleges and universities the tools they need to combat hunger on their campuses and provide students with access to healthy food so they can stay focused, learn, and grow.”
The 28 institutions represent the first cohort of awardees since the program’s creation earlier this year.
“Hunger should never be what holds someone back from taking steps to invest in their future – and the future of Pennsylvania. From high school graduates pursuing career pathways to adults making career changes and adapting to shifts in workforce needs, students deserve proper support in achieving their higher education goals,” said First Lady Wolf. “I’m proud that the Hunger-Free Campus program can offer that support and look forward to seeing the innovative ways that schools address food insecurity on their campuses.”
Through the 2022-2023 PA Hunger-Free Campus Grant Program, colleges with the PA Hunger-Free Campus or PA Hunger-Free Campus+ designation applied for competitive funding in an amount up to:
- $20,000 for institutions with 3,000 or fewer learners;
- $40,000 for institutions with 3,001 to 7,000 learners; and
- $60,000 for institutions with 7,001 learners or more.
Postsecondary institutions that received a PA Hunger-Free Campus+ designation implemented additional innovative solutions to address student hunger and other basic needs for their campus community in conjunction with demonstrating additional criteria. Examples of these initiatives included offering a variety of meal plans, including an option that provides ten or fewer meals weekly to avoid interfering with SNAP eligibility, creating or implementing meal-sharing programs, educating student leaders on campus to develop student-centered programs, or facilitating innovative community partnerships.
The grants are awarded with the purpose of addressing food insecurity on campus, including expanding access to food options, creating awareness initiatives, and upgrading facilities. Awardees will be able to utilize the grant funds until December 31, 2023.
The PA Hunger-Free Campus designations are reopened and institutions can apply. Designees receive a certificate of recognition and placement on the PA Hunger-Free Campus website, and they also have an opportunity to apply for future grant opportunities.