A student "swipes out hunger" at Starbucks witth her meal plan card

Penn State students donate $2,400 for food insecurity during ‘Swipe Out Hunger'

Coinciding with National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, Penn State generated 1,325 donations and $2,421 from Nov. 12-20 through the “Swipe Out Hunger” initiative.

Swipe Out Hunger, a national nonprofit committed to ending college student hunger, works with more than 435 colleges and universities nationwide to implement anti-hunger programs. Students and task force subcommittee members from Housing and Food Services and Student Affairs brought Swipe Out Hunger to Penn State in collaboration with the Lion's Pantry. This is the third year the University has partnered with Swipe Out Hunger.

Through Swipe Out Hunger, students at each Penn State campus can donate $1, $5, $10 or $15 when they purchase a meal at a residential dining facility. The funds raised from this initiative benefit the University’s Student Emergency Fund, which provides short-term financial assistance to students facing issues such as food insecurity, housing insecurity and unexpected emergencies.

The Swipe Out Hunger campaign will remain open through the end of the fall semester for students to continue donating their leftover dining dollars as the semester closes on Dec. 16. Students at every campus location can continue to donate when they pay for their meal at any residential dining facility, including mobile orders.

The Swipe Out Hunger drive is part of a larger University initiative to support students who experience challenges meeting basic needs. Food and housing insecurity has been a critical University and presidential priority beginning with the establishment of the University Task Force on Food and Housing Security in 2020.

Since then, many efforts in this area have been realized, the latest of which include expanding the Office of Student Care and Advocacy to provide focused support to students in need, as well as improvements to the student-run Lion’s Pantry at University Park and pantries at Commonwealth Campuses. Most recently, Penn State launched a University-wide survey to understand the prevalence of need among students. 

More information about resources available to support students facing financial challenges and other basic needs is available through the Penn State Student Affairs website. Students with an immediate need can start by completing the Basic Needs Request Form.