When you think about what “making ends meet” might mean to a college student, things like having enough money for tuition and textbooks may come up.
For some, it might be about money to go out with friends.
But for some Penn Staters, it’s about the money to eat, the money to brush your teeth or the money to wash your clothes.
That’s where the Lion’s Pantry comes in. More than a food bank, the pantry is a way to help students find the essentials for daily life that can be glossed over when every available dollar is going to pay for their education.
With Thanksgiving this week, the Penn State Parents Program, a group for parents of undergrads run out the Student Affairs office, put together a GoFundMe page to try to raise enough money to fill the pantry to overflowing.
“In this season of gratitude and giving, Penn State Parents would like to donate to Lions Pantry so that they can continue their mission of helping students,” the campaign stated.
They beat their $5,000 goal in two days. At 7 p.m. Monday, the take had hit $5,445, with 147 people chipping in.
“Breaks your heart to hear that there are homeless, hungry children studying side by side with our children,” wrote one parent.
“I love seeing our Penn State family come together to help out those in need through the Lion’s Pantry. Let’s all contribute $5 and watch the total SKYROCKET,” said another.
The parents aren’t the first to identify the need. Just three years old, the Lion’s Pantry is the recipient of the 2017 Class Gift.
“The Lion’s Pantry has brought together members of our community, which has been amazing,” the pantry’s student president Vanna Lee said in an August statement. “It is important that we support all students and ensure that they have access to items they may need, in an environment where they always feel welcomed.”
The administration appreciates the support.
“To see this outpouring of support in just a few days is heart-warming. We truly applaud the efforts of our students and others who have, at the start of the holiday season, decided to give back to their Penn State family. This fundraising effort is just another sign of the support Penn Staters provide to each other,” said Geoff Hallett, associate director of annual giving.