a student using her cell phone to tap and pay for a drink

Penn State students donate more than $34,000 to 'Swipe Out Hunger'

During Earth Week this past April, Penn State students set a new record and raised more than $34,000 for the Student Emergency Fund by donating extra dining dollars from their campus meal plans.   

All Penn State residential campuses participated in “Swipe Out Hunger” in conjunction with Earth Week 2023. Donations from University Park dining commons, HUB-Robeson Center dining locations, and Commonwealth Campuses came to a grand total of $34,229. 

Students had the opportunity to donate $5, $10 or $15 to the Student Emergency Fund when they paid for their meal at any residential dining facility or through a Penn State Eats mobile order. The funds raised from this initiative provide emergency on-campus dining funds to students facing food insecurity.  

Student Care and Advocacy, a unit of Student Affairs, met with more than 400 students during the fall 2022 semester who were experiencing basic needs insecurity, including food, housing or medical needs. According to a fall 2021 survey, 24% of Penn State students struggle with food insecurity, 13.5% reported housing or food concerns impacted their ability to focus on their academic responsibilities, and 27.5% reported they lost weight due to food insecurity. 

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. The group that brought Swipe Out Hunger to Penn State includes task force subcommittee members from Housing and Food Services and Student Affairs and students who work with the Lion's Pantry, a food pantry at University Park.   

Students facing food insecurity and other basic needs challenges can find resources through the Student Affairs website.