(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — Pennsylvania First Lady Frances Wolf and Acting Secretary of Education Eric Hagarty joined students, faculty, and partners at Millersville University to announce the Hunger-Free Campus Initiative.

The initiative is geared to help students at risk of hunger to access free, healthy food on college campuses across Pennsylvania.

First Lady Frances Wolf said that hunger is a devastating reality affecting too many of Pennsylvania’s postsecondary students as they work to further their education.

Today, I am proud to say that, here in Pennsylvania, we are refusing to accept it. I invite all of Pennsylvania’s institutions of higher education to apply for the Hunger-Free Campus designation and join their dedicated colleagues in ensuring our students have access to the tools they need to succeed, especially nutritious food.”

Pennsylvania First Lady Frances Wolf

The 2022-2023 state budget included a $1 million investment to begin the Hunger-Free Campus grant program. This would help schools enhance food pantries, increase Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) outreach, improve data gathering, and participate in other initiatives that will help meet the nutritional needs of the students.

“We know that students need access to healthy food and stay focused, learn, grow, and thrive. And yet, many postsecondary students face financial barriers to filling their most basic needs. The Hunger-Free Campus Initiative empowers Pennsylvania’s colleges and universities to combat hunger on their campuses and provide the resources that students need to continue their education and go on to obtain family-sustaining, meaningful careers.”

Eric Hagarty, Pennsylvania’s Acting Secretary of Education.

For more information about the initiative, click here.