A hand puts food on shelves of Lion’s Pantry.

A Light in the Darkness

“It’s inspiring to witness firsthand how the Penn State community has come together to support those facing scary and uncertain times.” —Sayre Bradley, Penn State Lion’s Pantry President

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Penn Staters are showing up with a fierce commitment to serving their communities. For students experiencing emergency need in the State College area, the Lion’s Pantry is continuing to provide safe access to food and toiletries—and student volunteers are continuing to serve their peers by supporting the logistical and communications needs of the pantry remotely. Below, Lion’s Pantry President Sayre Bradley and Communications Coordinator Sarah Hohman share thoughts on why their work means more now than ever.

Sarah Hohman

How are you and your fellow Penn State students feeling right now?

Sarah: Penn State has provided me the chance to wake up every day and have an impact on world. Without daily campus life, it’s been difficult to find that same sense of purpose, but I’m inspired by how people are rising to help each other. Doing what I can to help my peers brings a lot of light to the darkness.

Sayre Bradley

How have you seen the broader University community join your efforts to support students in crisis?

Sayre: Penn Staters have always been strong supporters of the Lion’s Pantry, but I’m blown away by the additional support we have seen in the past few weeks. It’s inspiring to witness firsthand how the Penn State community has come together to support those facing scary and uncertain times.

Sayre Bradley

What does it mean to you to be able to help your fellow Penn Staters through this unprecedented time?

Sayre: Like Sarah said, in times like these it can be hard to find your sense of purpose. We have found ours in the work that we continue to do through the Lion’s Pantry. Since we began serving students struggling because of the pandemic, we’ve been able to distribute nearly two tons of food to more than 200 students and their dependents. This wouldn’t happen without our community’s support, and the fact that the Lion’s Pantry team is able to help students through this challenging time is something I’m very proud of.

Sarah Hohman

Do you have anything further you’d like to share with our readers?

Sarah: While this time is overwhelming for everyone, ensuring that every Penn Stater has access to basic sustenance is essential, and I hope all donors feel as if they are making a difference. Whether it be through a gift, a donation of food, or checking in on students whose worlds have been turned upside-down, you can make a difference right now, and I promise it matters to students more than you know.