In support of Cedar Crest College’s continuous efforts to reduce student hunger, the College was once again awarded a $20,000 PA Hunger-Free Campus Grant – part of $1 million in Hunger-Free Campus Grants awarded to 30 colleges and universities across the Commonwealth. This is the second time the institution has been awarded the grant, with the College previously receiving the grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education for the 2022-2023 assessment year.
“This is our second year being recognized as a hunger-free campus, which in itself is a high honor,” says Lynnsae Powers, M.Ed, Director of Persistence Support Resources at Cedar Crest College. “However, there is still so much that needs to be done. We have made leaps and bounds at meeting the basic needs of our current student body, but food insecurity remains high in the greater Lehigh Valley Community. I look forward to the continued awareness this designation brings and hope it proves the College’s commitment to our students.”
With the previous grant, Cedar Crest implemented multiple services and programs to reduce student hunger, better meet students’ basic needs, and elevate the college’s Resource Pantry – an accessible pantry that can be anonymously accessed by students 24/7, every day of the year. These upgrades included purchasing an additional freezer to house pre-packaged meals donated to the school, adding walk-in storage units for overflow, and adding reusable items to the pantry that students have continuous, sustainable access to.
“The Shapiro Administration is dedicated to supporting all students from pre-K to postsecondary, and one of the best ways to help students learn, grow, and achieve is by focusing on basic needs, including physical and mental health,” said Secretary of Education Dr. Khalid N. Mumin in a press release. “The colleges and universities awarded Hunger-Free grants have demonstrated a commitment to the well-being of the students on their campus, and this additional funding will help them bolster their efforts.”
Going forward, Cedar Crest intends to hire a graduate intern from the nutrition department to run daily functions of the Resource Pantry and develop student programs that emphasize healthy lifestyles. Among other goals, the college plans to train staff members on student health benefits and educate students on resources available to them.