Penn State University: Penn Staters raise $126,000 to fight student hunger during One Big Week


For the second year, One Big Week challenged Big Ten university communities to raise support for their students — and for the second year, Penn Staters answered the call. Alumni, friends and fans from around the world topped the conference, making more than 2,100 gifts and giving $126,414 to help tackle student hunger.

“Penn Staters continually prove that generosity is truly a part of who we are,” said Jenny Daigle Benoit, executive director of annual giving at Penn State. “Penn State is a home away from home for students across the commonwealth, and everyone who participated in One Big Week is now a part of making sure that home is a healthy one.”

From Wednesday, Aug. 31, through Wednesday, Sept. 7, Big Ten universities raced to raise as much support for their student communities as possible before the week ran out. Collectively, Big Ten communities gave over $400,000 from more than 5,900 gifts. Penn State supporters once again drove overall event success, contributing approximately a third of both the total gifts and total dollars. And for the first time, Penn State went head-to-head this year in a kickoff challenge against Purdue, ultimately securing 1,217 gifts in 48 hours against Purdue’s 877, thereby taking the title on the same evening the Nittany Lions celebrated a 35-31 win over the Boilermakers in their first football game of the season.

At Penn State, all support raised through the event benefited the Tackle Student Hunger Fund, a central resource that supports food pantries and food security programs at every college and campus across the commonwealth.

“As the University continues its efforts to address student food insecurity, the support of our alumni and friends is moving the needle,” said Rich Bundy, vice president for Development and Alumni Relations at Penn State. “No student should know hunger, and every student should know that they have the support of the tremendous Penn State community. Nothing makes me feel more proud than when Penn Staters show this level of kindness toward each other.”

Penn State Student Affairs offers resources and support for students interested in learning more about food insecurity or how to seek help. And as the University continues its commitment to addressing student poverty and hunger, supporters can continue to make gifts to the Tackle Student Hunger Fund.

With the record-breaking success of “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” which raised $2.2 billion from 2016 to 2022, philanthropy is helping to sustain the University’s tradition of education, research and service to communities across the commonwealth and around the globe. Scholarships enable our institution to open doors and welcome students from every background, support for transformative experiences allows our students and faculty to fulfill their vast potential for leadership, and gifts toward discovery and excellence help us to serve and impact the world we share.

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