The Lion’s Pantry committee began meeting in January of 2018, with the goal of providing food to students that struggled with food security. Just one month later, the Pantry began to pilot its operation and offered food at the end of February. Throughout the spring 2018 semester, monthly orders increased and it became clear that the program was vital. Currently, we have served over 100 students. The campus community’s support for the Lion’s Pantry continues to grow. This is evidenced through the founding of Behrend’s Food Insecurity Advisory Board in the spring of 2019. Made up of invested faculty and staff (student involvement opportunities coming soon), the Board oversees and supports the Lion’s Pantry as well as other projects and programs relating to food insecurity on our campus.
Students should be able to focus on their studies and extracurricular activities and not have to worry about when or where they will get their next meal or hygiene product. Campus food insecurity awareness specifically has recently risen causing many campus food pantries to emerge within the Penn State system and campuses throughout the United States. In fact, there are over 650 campus food pantries registered through the College and University Food Bank Alliance. Our pantry operates in a way that is unique compared to most – with complete anonymity. The students at our campus never have to interact with any of the staff or student workers operating the pantry. Instead, they complete the online order form found on our site and then pick up their order on the nearest Friday. All of our students with a valid Penn State login are eligible to place an order.
Our mission is to address and mitigate student hunger at the Penn State Behrend campus. The Behrend Lion’s Pantry is committed to serving the students supplemental food and hygiene products weekly in order to promote food security and overall health.