Guide for Students: Five Essential Food and Housing Security Resources
Penn State’s Basic Needs Support for Students Facing Food and Housing Insecurity
Penn State University is committed to providing comprehensive support to students dealing with food and housing insecurity. The University has a network of caring staff members across each campus ready to provide assistance and support. Learn about the available resources and reach out if you need help.
Understanding Food and Housing Insecurity Among College Students
Food and housing insecurity has become an alarming trend among college students nationwide. The reality of this challenge varies among individuals but can generally include:
- Skipping or cutting meals to save money.
- Limited access to healthy food.
- Uncertainty about when or where the next meal will come from.
- Frequent relocation and living with others due to financial constraints.
- Experiencing homelessness, including due to safety concerns.
Penn State’s Supportive Resources for Basic Needs
1) Comprehensive Resources Through the Student Affairs’ Basic Needs Support
Penn State provides a variety of resources and services to support students facing food and housing insecurity. The Basic Needs Support Program covers a wide range of resources from one-time financial aid to long-term assistance with public programs.
2) Individual Support Through the Student Care Advocacy’s Basic Needs Assistance Process
Penn State recognizes the difficulties some students may face and provides non-judgemental support. If you’re experiencing difficulties accessing basic needs like food, housing, utilities, or healthcare, complete the Basic Needs Assistance Request Form for help.
3) Immediate Food Assistance Through Food Pantries and SNAP Benefits
Penn State offers easy access to food through campus food pantries and SNAP benefits for qualifying students. The Sokolov-Miller Family Financial and Life Skills Center provides financial literacy resources to help manage financial resources.
4) Mental Health Support from Counseling and Psychological Services
We understand that dealing with basic needs challenges can strain your mental health. Penn State offers various mental health services through the counseling offices at each campus, including Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).
Frequently Asked Questions About Penn State’s Basic Needs Support
Q: What is the process to qualify for basic needs support services?
All Penn State students can seek support by completing the Basic Needs Assistance Request Form. A case manager will help you understand if you qualify for programs, connect you with the right resources, and guide you through the application process.
Q: Can I receive help anonymously? Will anyone know I’m getting support?
While we strive to protect your privacy and personal information, full anonymity may not be possible. However, we take your confidentiality seriously and will only share necessary information to provide you with the proper resources and assistance.
Q: What should I do if I’m dealing with an immediate or emergency housing situation?
For students experiencing immediate or emergency housing situations, please visit our housing support page to explore available options.
Q: How can I help a student who I believe is struggling with food or housing insecurity?
If you are concerned about a student, there are available resources to help you provide support and make a referral.
Get Involved and Support Penn State Students
Students who want to contribute to Penn State’s efforts to support those facing basic needs challenges can contact the Students United Against Poverty group to learn more.
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