Bizzarro: Gannon University awarded $40K to address student food insecurity

Funding awarded through PA Hunger-Free Campus grant program

ERIE, Jan. 11 — Gannon University in Erie County is one of 30 colleges and universities in Pennsylvania awarded grant funding through a program aimed at combatting food insecurity among college students, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro (D-Erie) announced Thursday.

Gannon University is receiving $40,000 through the PA Hunger-Free Campus grant program, an initiative aimed at addressing food insecurity on college campuses across the commonwealth. The money will be used to expand student access to food options, create awareness campaigns and upgrade facilities.

“We know that all students, whether in grade school or college, learn better when they have a full stomach. But college students can have a hard time affording meal plans and groceries on top of everything else they have to pay for while attending school,” said Bizzarro. “This funding will go a long way toward ensuring every student, regardless of financial status, has constant access to food, a basic human right.

Gannon and other grant recipients of this program have worked to meet the unique food needs of college students, including offering meal plans that avoids interfering with SNAP eligibility, creating meal-sharing programs and working with community partners to address food insecurity. Funds will be available until the end of 2024.

“As a graduate of Gannon University’s Master’s program, it’s reassuring to know that the school I once attended is prioritizing the health of its students by working hard to decrease food insecurity on its campus. I’m proud to call myself a Golden Knight, and I look forward to seeing this grant put to good use.”

A total of $1 million was awarded to colleges and universities across Pennsylvania. A full list of recipients can be found here.