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Penn State Dining Donating Unused Food To Local Food Banks & Schools

With only a fraction of the student body still on campus and four dining halls completely shut down, Penn State Dining was left with quite an inventory of unused food when the university announced it was canceling in-person classes for the remainder of the semester last month.

However, that food has gone to good use as Housing and Food Services has been donating perishable items to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank (CPFB) and State College Area School District, which has still been serving breakfast and lunch to local K-12 children. Lion’s Pantry, which is still open for students in need, has also benefited from the donations.

“Food banks across the country have a growing need, and we saw this as an opportunity to share food with members of our local communities,” said Jim Meinecke, associate director for residential dining. “Many who have been negatively impacted by coronavirus and who are experiencing food insecurity.”

The first donation was made during the week of March 16 and has continued to ensure none of the food goes to waste. In total, Housing and Food Services has donated more than 28,000 pounds of food to the CPFB since 2018.

Additionally, the Nittany Lion Inn, the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center, and Athletics have also been donating unused food.

“This is a difficult, stressful time for many, including students, friends and neighbors in our community, and if we can help with these essential needs, we certainly want to do so,” Meinecke said. “Our focus in HFS will continue to be to serve students and do what we can to alleviate stress where possible, as we face this unprecedented circumstance together.”

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About the Author

Riley Davies

Riley is a junior studying Public Relations, Digital Media Trends and Analytics, and Psychology from Orange County, CA. You understandably may be questioning why she is at Penn State and to be quite frank, so is she. She loves dogs, Creamery lemonade, and going to Trader Joe's. You can reach her at [email protected] or follow her on twitter @rileyydavies for retweets of dogs.


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