The Pennsylvania Legislature is giving $1 million to college campuses for the coming school year to address student food insecurity, The Center Square reported.
The Hunger-Free Campus Grant Program will help schools create or expand campus food pantries and increase awareness of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Money also will be used to help determine nutritional needs of students.
A study by Penn State University discovered 35% of students across the commonwealth have some level of food insecurity.
Swipe Out Hunger, a nonprofit aiming to address hunger among students, surveyed 86,000 students from 123 two- and four-year higher ed institutions, discovering that 45% suffered food insecurity last month.
Frances Wolf, wife of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, said food insecurity was an issue at both private and public schools but that grassroots efforts are addressing problems.
“I’ve met incredible people – administrators, deans and vice presidents – at institutions, but the ones who take my breath away are the students,” Wolf said. “They are the ones running the programs, the worker bees. They are setting up these pantries, sometimes in their dorm closets. They go to food pantries to stock their own pantry and become part of the campus.”