At Penn State Behrend, we're working to combat food insecurity in our community. Originally managed by AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) members as part of a multi-year project, we have now formed Behrend's Food Insecurity Advisory Board to oversee many of these projects and programs. Operations are managed by Civic and Community Engagement.
Food insecurity, as defined by the United States Department of Agriculture, is the "social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food" resulting in hunger or "disrupted eating patterns and reduced food intake."
Nearly 20 percent of students at four-year colleges do not have sufficient access to safe and nutritious food. Penn State Behrend is no exception to this statistic. Because students shouldn’t have to worry about obtaining fundamental necessities when they are focusing on academics, the Behrend Lion’s Pantry was developed to provide students in need with regular access to food items and personal hygiene products. If you are a student in need (simply defined as not having a reliable supply of nutritious food), visit the Behrend Lion’s Pantry site to find out how to participate in the confidential program.
Watch a video: "Penn State Behrend is Tackling Student Hunger Problem on Campus" from Erie News Now.
As a chapter of the Food Recovery Network, the Waste Not program’s mission is to decrease the amount of food waste produced by Penn State Behrend Housing and Food Services and simultaneously help to feed the hungry within the Erie region. In the last year alone, volunteers from various student organizations have helped to deliver over 600 pounds of recovered food to the Erie City Mission. If you're interested in getting involved with this program, please contact Katie Chriest, Sustainable Food Systems Program Coordinator, and Sam Mason, Sustainability Coordinator, at their respective emails: [email protected] and [email protected].
The Behrend Student Garden, just north of Smith Chapel, is an ongoing initiative supported by student garden interns, staff, and community partners. Learn more about the student garden.