More than 1,200 items and almost $300 in gift cards for local grocery stores were donated for Indiana University of Pennsylvania's Food Pantry and Help Center through an Oct. 16 drive coordinated by IUP's College of Health and Human Services Service Committee. Donations jumped 13% compared to last year's drive.

donations in truckMembers of the faculty and staff of the College and the Department of Hospitality Management volunteered to collect and sort the donations. The mission of the College of Health and Human Services Service Committee is to expand its impact on the region through faculty and staff engagement. It is chaired by Nicole Buse, a faculty member in the Department of Hospitality Management, and includes representatives from each of the departments in the College and the office of the Dean of the College.

“Despite changing the way we did donations this year, because of the pandemic, we saw such generosity,” Buse said. “The community is struggling. Jobs have been lost and money is tight. But IUP's faculty and staff really came through for the students.”

The Food Pantry and Help Center addresses the issues of food insecurity, hygiene needs, and lack of school supplies experienced by students. Faculty, staff, students, student organizations and alumni donations have provided funds for the Food Pantry and Help Center, which opened a physical location in IUP's Suites on Pratt residence hall in September 2019. Terry Serafini, a 1961 graduate of IUP, has provided significant support for the initiative and funding for student leaders working with the food pantry project. IUP's Division of Student Affairs oversees the IUP Food Pantry and Help Center.

Ashley Klink, Jodie Seybold, and Nicole Buse

Shown in the photo, left to right: Ashley Klink (Hospitality Management student), Jodie Seybold (faculty member from Food and Nutrition), Nicole Buse (faculty member from Hospitality Management and College of Health and Human Services Service Committee Chair).