A white table filled with fruits and vegetables. The text 'PA Hunger-free campus' sits in the middle

Marywood Designated as a PA Hunger-Free+ Campus

Marywood University has been designated as a Pennsylvania Hunger-Free Campus+ by the Pennsylvania Department of Education for a two-year period, in recognition of its leadership in the area of college student food security.

The Shapiro Administration recognizes Pennsylvania colleges and universities that are considered leaders in the effort to alleviate hunger and food insecurity among college students. Food insecurity is a growing concern on college campuses throughout the country. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education website, over one-third of students know someone who dropped out of college due to food insecurity during the pandemic. Roughly 52 percent of students who faced food or housing insecurity in 2020 did not apply for support, because they did not know how. 

Marywood’s local response to this nationwide issue is the Pacer Pantry, a name chosen by Marywood students, to benefit students and staff who may struggle with food insecurity. Various departments, deans, faculty members, student groups, and Friends of the Poor (a sponsored ministry of the IHM Congregation) collaborated to make the Pacer Pantry a reality, and it opened in February 2020. 

Marywood University has been recognized for connecting students to food options through the Pacer Pantry on campus, through local community-based food pantries, and other food delivery programs, as well as increasing awareness of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligibility for students, focusing SNAP outreach on potentially eligible students, and helping students apply for SNAP and other benefits. Additionally, Marywood operates a task force to address basic needs, including hunger, and raising awareness among students using a lens of equity, inclusion, and belonging. 

The Hunger-Free+ Campus designation also qualifies Marywood to apply for the PA Hunger-Free Campus grant program, to help further expand university efforts to alleviate food insecurity.