The Lion’s Pantry was created, by students for students, to address the issue of food insecurity at Penn State University Park campus.
“My hope is the Pantry will allow students to focus on their education, not where their next meal will come from.” – Jake Ruddy
In Spring 2014, two Penn State students realized that for some of their fellow students, exams and grades might not be the only concern. Jake Ruddy and Alex Mendoca, along with support from the College of Agricultural Sciences; the Sustainability Institute; Housing, Food Service and Residence Life; the Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management program; Project Cahir; the State College Food Bank; and various student organizations worked to open The Lion’s Pantry doors in November 2014.
A clear need for a student food pantry was expressed through stories from community members, conversations among similar organizations at large universities, and nation-wide statistics that show that hunger is a growing concern for college-aged adults.
Funding from the Sustainability Institute and the Penn State 2017 Class Gift endowment allow for this critical resource to be maintained and continue to grow in the ways that will further benefit the students it serves.