Hunger Awareness HeartThe Seedling Project aids 150 low-income clients of four local food pantries in Indiana County by providing them with the supplies to grow and produce their own food at home.

The Seedling Project is also a service-learning project for students in Melissa Swauger's Sociology of Family course, developed to provide students with opportunities to learn about food insecurity and poverty at a local level and teach students about how social inequality, poverty, and social policy affects families. University partners include the Sociology, Food and Nutrition, and Anthropology departments. Community partners include the Indiana Community Gardens, ICCAP, Zion Lutheran Church, Trinity Methodist Church, Church of the Brethren, Unity Family Services, and the Chevy Chase Community Center.

The purpose of Hunger Awareness Week (April 24-28, 2017) is to raise awareness among the IUP and Indiana communities about food insecurity in the region.

Hunger Awareness Week includes:

  • a film screening of A Place at the Table, Wednesday, April 26, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in McElhaney 101
  • a poverty simulation, Friday, April 28, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. (you must register at
  • a three-day Stuff-the-Van food drive, April 25, 26, 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the HUB Cul-de-Sac

Get Involved . . .

Contact Melissa Swauger at to participate in the events listed below.

Donate Buckets

We are in search of four- or five-gallon buckets to grow produce. Please be sure buckets did not previously hold toxic material or paint.

Volunteer at a Seedling Distribution

We need individuals to assist with seedling distributions:

  • Monday, May 8, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Church, and
  • Tuesday, May 9, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Chevy Chase Community Center.

Participate in the Poverty Simulation

The poverty simulation experience is designed to help participants begin to understand what it might be like to live in a typical low-income family trying to survive month to month. You must pre-register at

Help Distribute Hunger Awareness Week Flyers

Contribute . . .

Garden Hats for SalePurchase a gardening hat

Gardening hats are on sale for a suggested donation of $5 and can be purchased in 102 McElhaney Hall from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and from 1:00 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Contribute nonperishable items

Help us Stuff-the-Van parked outside of the HUB, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. on April 25, 26, and 27 by donating nonperishable food items and toiletries.

Make a Monetary contribution

To make a monetary donation, make your check payable to “The Foundation for IUP.”

Write “ The Seedling Project ” in the memo line.

Send checks to:

The Foundation for IUP
Sutton Hall Room G1
1011 South Drive
Indiana, PA 15705