The Lion's Pantry needs student involvement to ensure successful future

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – As the leader of the student club that manages a food pantry for Penn State students is set to graduate in May, Vanna Lee is calling on underclassmen to step up and ensure the critical service remains intact well into the future.

“We need to support these students in our community,” said Lee. “Utilizing the pantry is something people hesitate to talk about, but it’s important to break down the barriers and start these conversations. The pantry exists to support students who may be facing food insecurity and to help them through difficult times. We currently see 20 to 30 students each week and we want to expand next semester, but in order to do that we need help with staffing."

While Lee, who is studying health policy administration, is preparing to begin her career in the health care industry, she is also actively working to ensure The Lion’s Pantry is successful in her absence by recruiting and training students to manage the pantry.

"As a volunteer and leader for The Lion’s Pantry, I have felt a responsibility to make sure that the club and pantry succeed by keeping up with the demand, acquiring new partnerships, and keeping operations going,” Lee said. “Now, as graduation approaches, my focus is to recruit new club members, help current members transition into new roles within the club, and continue to increase awareness about the pantry.”

Students who support The Lion’s Pantry by becoming a club member or officer build leadership and management skills, which are essential for professional development.

Established in 2014, The Lion’s Pantry is a student-run food pantry that welcomes undergraduate and graduate students who have a valid Penn State ID. The facility is located next to the Blue Band Building and is easily accessible by the Campus Shuttle. The service is available between 3 and 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays.

As a 2017 class gift, students created a permanent, annual source of funding to support The Lion’s Pantry, addressing the issue of hunger among in-need and at-risk students at Penn State.

To learn more about getting involved, come to a meeting on Tuesdays from 6 to 7 p.m. in 217 Thomas or contact club officers at lionspantrypsu@gmail.com

Media Contacts: 
Last Updated March 12, 2018