Over $100K in grants to Abington supports food pantry, funds scholarships

Abington food pantry

The LionShare food pantry assists students, faculty, and staff with food insecurity issues.

Credit: Penn State

Four foundations recently awarded Penn State Abington a total of $104,500 to support student scholarships and the LionShare food pantry.

"We are grateful that these four foundations chose to support Penn State Abington students. These grants lighten the financial obligations of attending college and allow students to focus on their education and their promising futures," Interim Chancellor Andrew August said.

The W.W. Smith Charitable Trust, building on a history of funding to Penn State that dates to 1984, provided a grant in the amount of $52,000 for scholarships in the 2020-21 academic year. This is the trust’s third scholarship grant to the Abington campus.

Scholarships will be awarded in amounts between $2,000 and $10,000 to qualified full-time Penn State Abington students with demonstrated financial need who are residents of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, or Philadelphia counties or Camden, New Jersey.  Scholarship funds may be used to cover tuition, room, board and books.

The W. W. Smith Charitable Trust is a private foundation established by William Wikoff Smith in 1977. The trust makes grants in the greater Philadelphia region to support basic needs, college scholarships, maritime heritage preservation, and medical research primarily in heart disease, cancer  and AIDS.

The Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation awarded a grant of $35,000 to Penn State Abington as part of the Newcombe Scholarships for Mature Students program. This grant builds on a history of funding to Penn State dating to 1982 and brings the total awarded to the Abington campus to $95,000 since 2018.

Penn State Abington will match the funds 1:1 for a total impact of $70,000 in scholarships for mature students during the 2020-21 academic year. The goal is to support some of Penn State Abington’s most financially vulnerable learners. Often without family members able to assist, many adult students work to support themselves and their children; commute from Philadelphia to the Abington campus; and struggle to balance the demands of family, school, and employment.

The Newcombe Foundation, an independent foundation based in Princeton, New Jersey, was founded in 1979. It continues the lifelong interest of Charlotte W. Newcombe in supporting students pursuing degrees.

“Hunger should not be an obstacle for students to thrive academically. These grants allow us to provide support through the LionShare food pantry.”

-- Tracy Reed, assistant director of student engagement and leadership

Aligned with Penn State Abington’s goal to address food insecurity among its students, two grants totaling $17,500 will advance the campus’s efforts to reduce hunger. 

For the second year, the Abington campus is the recipient of a $15,000 grant from the Leo & Peggy Pierce Family Foundation to support the LionShare food pantry during the 2020-21 academic year.

The Leo & Peggy Pierce Family Foundation seeks to end hunger and food insecurity in the five-county Philadelphia region and Indian River County, Florida. The foundation makes grants to support activities that address hunger and food insecurity through direct service programs and/or advocacy efforts.

A $2,500 Wawa Foundation Local Connections Grant will be used to purchase high-demand food items for the LionShare in 2020-21. 

“Hunger should not be an obstacle for students to thrive academically. These grants allow us to provide support through the LionShare food pantry,” said Tracy Reed, assistant director of student engagement and leadership at the Abington campus.

About Penn State Abington
Penn State Abington provides an affordable, accessible, and high-impact education resulting in the success of a diverse student body. It is committed to student success through innovative approaches to 21st-century public higher education within a world-class research university. With nearly 4,000 students, Penn State Abington is a residential campus that offers baccalaureate degrees in 22 majors, undergraduate research, the Schreyer Honors College, NCAA Division III athletics, and more. 

About “A Greater Penn State”
These grants will advance "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence," a focused campaign that seeks to elevate Penn State’s position as a leading public university in a world defined by rapid change and global connections. With the support of alumni and friends, “A Greater Penn State” seeks to fulfill the three key imperatives of a 21st-century public university: keeping the doors to higher education open to hardworking students regardless of financial well-being; creating transformative experiences that go beyond the classroom; and impacting the world by fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” visit greaterpennstate.psu.edu.