Nutrition Students Conceptualize Idea for IUP Food Pantry

Posted on 12/13/2018 9:36:46 AM

In the Public Health Nutrition and Epidemiology class in spring 2018, nutrition students developed a proposal for a campus food pantry at IUP. This class was taught by Pao Ying Hsiao, PhD, MS, RD, LDN, a faculty member in the Department of Food and Nutrition.

The students developed draft proposals which included concepts such as the creation of an app to enable students to share meal plans with those in need, pop-up mobile food pantries, and, ultimately, the establishment of an off-campus food pantry to serve IUP students. Their plans were impressive and comprehensive and included marketing strategies, budget needs, and staff.

The Giving Tuesday campaign encouraged the IUP community to take a stand against hunger and donate to the IUP Food Pantry. Nearly $8,700 was raised to address food insecurity of IUP students.

Within the Giving Tuesday marketing, the IUP Food Pantry was unveiled at the Lutheran Campus Center. As part of this global celebration of Philanthropy, the IUP community was encouraged to take a stand against hunger and to donate to the food pantry. It will be run as a “pop-up” food pantry until there are more established, sustainable resources.

Melanie Hildebrant, an IUP faculty member and stakeholder in the project, applauded the students’ work in a recent email to Hsiao:

“Without the work of your students on that assignment last spring, we wouldn’t have been able to make such a convincing case for the donor, Terry Serafini, who is putting up a great deal of money ($25,000) to start the pantry. So please do share with your students that all of their work was valuable and made a major contribution to our ability to get the pantry at IUP started.”

Hsiao is very proud of the efforts that her students put forth into the food pantry proposals last spring. It’s exciting when a class project has “come alive.” Their meaningful work is being used to help students in need, and for that, they should be very proud.