Campuswide Collaboration Fights Hunger, ‘One Tray at a Time’

A recent weeklong initiative by Pennsylvania College of Technology students and employees turned retired cafeteria trays into platforms for the most successful campaign yet to benefit the on-campus food pantry.

The Cupboard, opened in September 2016 adjacent to the CC Commons dining unit, has seen a 30-percent increase in usage by students this fall. To help meet that demand, Dining Services and Institutional Advancement innovatively teamed to battle hunger across campus.

Cafeteria trays are piled with donated non-perishables in a Penn College office, an effort duplicated across campus in support of The Cupboard.

“This year, with the increased need for The Cupboard, it has been truly amazing to see students and the campus community come together to support such a meaningful initiative,” said Ryan Monteleone, of Stevens, an information assistance and cyber security major and the college’s lead student development assistant.

“The student participation in this project was inspiring, and we’re grateful for their initiative and compassion to support fellow students,” added Loni N. Kline, vice president for institutional advancement.

The Penn College Admissions Office was among the many partners in a campuswide collection for The Cupboard food pantry. From left are Admissions Counselor Lynn Y. Frey and Student Ambassadors Logan M. Tubiello, of Ottsville, and Alexander C. McDonnell, of Brookhaven.

From Sept. 25-29, donors could contribute monetarily through the purchase of a Vintage Wildcat Tray; some employees used those trays as office collection points for non-perishable items that were picked up by the development assistants at week’s end. More than 750 items and $520 were donated between Sept. 25-29 by the 25-plus offices that participated.

“What started as an initiative to repurpose outdated dining-unit trays resulted in the entire campus coming together to support The Cupboard through generous food and monetary donations,” said Crissy L. McGinness, director of dining services. “We cannot thank our campus community enough for their support of the services we are providing to our students.”

Penn College students, committed to helping their own through donations to the on-campus food pantry, hold “Vintage Wildcat Trays” used in the campaign.

The Cupboard was able to help 400 students in its first year of operation, and, through such collaborative food drives, can continue to meet requests for assistance.

“The support from the campus has been incredible, and I am so appreciative of the efforts that went into this collection,” said Dining Services Manager Vicki K. Killian, who supervises pantry operations. A family of six contacted her shortly afterward to request food from the pantry, she said, and “I was grateful that we were so well-stocked that we could help them.”

To donate to The Cupboard, visit Institutional Advancement or mail your gift to Pennsylvania College of Technology Foundation Inc. – DIF 65, One College Avenue, Williamsport, PA 17701-5799. Donations of food can be made by contacting The Cupboard or by calling 570-327-4767.

For more about the college, a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

Photos by Amy S. Lingg, Dining Services marketing assistant; student Ryan Monteleone;
and Becky J. Shaner, manager of student/alumni engagement and special events

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Pennsylvania College of Technology is a special mission affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University