Penn State Food Services provides special deliveries to Nittanyville

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Midweek before every home football game, a tent town arises outside Gate A at Beaver Stadium. Nittanyville is a community of students who settle in to be the first in line for student-section seats, which are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. They socialize, study, make banners to display during the game, toss footballs back and forth — and they get hungry.

That’s where Penn State Food Services comes in. For the past five years, Food Services has paid a visit to Nittanyville each Thursday evening before a home game to deliver much-appreciated pizza, cookies and beverages.

It began in 2011 with some simple boxed lunches and sodas. The food deliveries have expanded over the years, and vendors have come on board to sponsor donations. These days Nittanyville residents are treated to three varieties of pizza — cheese, pepperoni and buffalo chicken — as well as Herr’s chips, Pepsi products and chocolate chip cookies.

“Each year we’ve done a little more, and we’ll continue to expand our offerings,” said Jim Meinecke, coordinator of Residential Dining.

In recent years Pepsi has selected one home game — this year it was Indiana on Sept. 30 — to set up a booth in Nittanyville with samples of new products and provide games or a photo booth nearby.

At the beginning of each football season, Meinecke meets with the officers of Nittanyville, which has become an official student club.

“We go over each home game and how much food we’re going to deliver,” he said. “We rotate among dining commons, with each unit being assigned at least one game. Everyone is great about it.”

Food Services also communicates with Penn State Athletics each week to arrange visits from various sports teams, including football, volleyball and soccer.

“We always have a visit from football, whether it’s linebackers, quarterbacks or defensive backs,” Meinecke said. “The atmosphere of Nittanyville is filled with energy, and they love the visits from cheerleaders, athletes and coaches.”

Each year for the “big game” — this season it was the Michigan game on Oct. 21 — Nittanyville begins on Monday night.

“For the weeklong we do a little something extra,” Meinecke said. “This year we handed out almost 200 Starbucks reusable mugs filled with hot chocolate, and the students got excited for that. Even though the weather was warm, it got chilly at night, so everyone loved the hot chocolate. The students are always grateful for whatever we deliver.”

Last Updated November 15, 2017