Penn State Food Services fuel team spirit among Nittanyville campers

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- For the past several years, Penn State students have been gathering at Gate A of Beaver Stadium in support of the Nittany Lion football team. However, they don’t just appear on Saturday’s hours or mere minutes prior to kickoff. They are setting up tents, blowing up air mattresses, and camping out, sometimes for the entire week, before a game.

Dubbed Nittanyville, this tent village is a legitimate student organization with officers. Students sign up with their friends and promise to abide by the rules while camping. These rules include having someone at the tent at all times and making sure to have all supplies cleared out by 7 a.m. on game day.

The students do face their share of challenges, including weather, getting enough sleep and organizing their schedules with their fellow campers to make sure everyone makes it to class or has access to a power outlet to do homework. Finding food can also be challenging.

Last year, Penn State Food Services decided to extend their support to the students of Nittanyville. Led by Jim Meinecke, assistant manager of North Food District at Warnock, various food services units from different residence areas on campus came together to deliver meals on the Thursday before each home game.

“I just thought it would be a nice way to show support for our students,” said Meinecke. “It started out as a fun thing, but seemed to keep growing.”

Meinecke said the plan is to provide pizza or sandwiches, or a combination of the two. In addition, the Food Services units also bring dessert and soda. Meinecke made the first delivery of the 2013 football season, courtesy of the North Food District, on Sept. 5.

According to Meinecke, the students are excited to see the deliveries and often help unload the vehicle.

“They always seem to be really appreciative,” said Meinecke. “Last year they started to recognize both me and my vehicle and would get excited when I pulled up. I know they appreciate campus and other local businesses supporting them.”

Meinecke is correct. The students are both impressed and grateful for the support.

“It’s a huge help,” said Lauren Tecce, the Nittanyville public relations officer and a junior marketing major. “We really appreciate it. Honestly, we love anything they bring.”

"It’s pretty cool to see that they care about us, that they realize we’re out here, and what we’re doing,” said Darian Somers, the organizational officer and a sophomore print journalism major. “I remember before the Ohio State game last year they delivered gobs (whoopie pie) from the Penn State Bakery. They were delicious.”

Meinecke developed the schedule for the Food Services units that will be participating in food delivery this year. The schedule for upcoming games is:


University of Central Florida, Sept. 14 – Findlay Commons

Kent State, Sept. 21 – South Food District

Michigan, Oct. 12 (Homecoming) – West Food District and North Food District Illinois, 11/2 – Findlay Commons

Minnesota, Nov. 9 – South Food District

Purdue, Nov. 16 – West Food District

Nebraska, Nov. 23 – North Food District

Last Updated September 09, 2013