The Pennsylvania Department of Education has designated Johnson College as a “Hunger-Free Campus.” This pilot program, spearheaded by Pennsylvania First Lady, Frances Wolf, aims to build a coalition of colleges and universities focused on addressing hunger and other basic needs for their students.
Johnson College received the designation in October before becoming eligible to apply for grant funding through the Department of Education to support student initiatives to address food security.
“We know that food and other basic need insecurities act as barriers that hamper our students’ abilities to focus on their education,” Amy Driscoll McNulty said. Amy is currently the Associate Director of Student Success at Johnson College and will lead the campus-wide initiative. “With this designation and related efforts moving forward, our goal is to lessen or remove those barriers, increase awareness of resources, and provide healthy food options so that students spend less time worrying about their next meal and more time pursuing their educational goals.”
According to national studies, over one-third of students know someone who dropped out of college due to food insecurity during the pandemic, and roughly 52 percent of students who faced food or housing insecurity in 2020 did not apply for support because they did not know how. Colleges and universities across the country are taking steps to address these issues.
Students who may need assistance at Johnson College may stop into the Office of Counseling and Disability Services in the Moffat Student Center on campus to access the student food pantry and to discuss other options and resources such as local food banks and the State’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
For more information about this initiative, visit www.education.pa.gov/Postsecondary-Adult/PAHungerFreeCampus.