Abba Java Coffeehouse Provides Home Away From Home For Penn State Students

Abba Java Coffeehouse, a part of Penn State’s Wesley Foundation, is a free, safe space for students and community members to find both fellowship and food.

Abba Java opened its doors in the early 2000s and is now managed by Reverend Sarah Voigt. Voigt is the current director of the Wesley Foundation at Penn State and oversees the day-to-day operations of the location.

Abba Java is a team effort, as the majority of the staff are either student volunteers or members of the St. Paul’s United Methodist Church congregation. The business also employs a few part-time helpers who supervise training, but the overall operation relies heavily on help from the community.

Upon entering the coffeehouse, customers are greeted with an assortment of baked goods and coffee all free of charge. Through partnerships and funding with the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church, Abba Java provides free food and services to the Happy Valley community.

“It is our hope that through this work our Penn State community would feel loved, known, and fed,” Voigt said.

The Wesley Foundation began in 1920 and is an official Penn State organization that meets weekly to discuss life and faith.

“We seek to be a community of students, undergraduate and graduate, who believe in welcoming others, serving our neighbors, and sharing food together, and is centered in following Jesus,” Voigt said.

It has also recently begun addressing problems of food insecurity with an added food pantry and is always looking for new ways to help the community.

Not only is Abba Java open for daytime fuel, but once a month, it runs a program called “Abba Java Up Late,” where snacks and drinks are handed out from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. With these new programs, Abba Java seeks to maintain a presence for students in the community and assist them in times of need.

“We continue to try and live into the vision of the Wesley Foundation and reevaluate every year what that looks like,” Voigt said of Abba Java’s involvement and need-based assistance.

Abba Java aims to be the perfect space for college students as it offers a caring, home-like environment and free food — every college student’s dream.

Voigt encourages students to check out Abba Java and see what it is all about.

“We enjoy seeing new students and being able to share a cup of coffee with them,” Voigt said.

Anyone interested in getting involved with Abba Java by volunteering or donating can visit its website here. There is a donation box located in the coffeehouse and Venmo donations can be sent to @abbajavapsu.

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About the Author

Ally Eaton

Ally is a freshman public relations major from York, Pennsylvania and is one of Onward State's social media editors. She gets to write awesome feature stories and create epic content for our social media pages. Ally is a lover of country music and Trader Joe's. If you'd like to discuss March Madness or your most creative coffee order, feel free to contact her on Twitter @allyeaton31 or in her inbox [email protected].

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