YSU Honors College wins grant to help local homeless and hungry

Youngstown State University is one of 40 colleges and universities across the country to receive an Iowa Campus Compact grant as part of the MLK Day of Service Community Partnership Project.

The Honors College applied for the grant, which provides funding for MLK Day service projects geared toward alleviating hunger and supporting veterans, and received $2,661. It will use the funds to expand educational and service efforts to the homeless and hungry of the Youngstown area, including a student service retreat over MLK weekend in January.

“Our students will be making scarves and blankets for the homeless, organizing a canned food drive, working directly with local agencies and learning from guest speakers and educational activities at the retreat,” said Amy Cossentino, director of the Honors College. “Hunger and homelessness awareness is a societal concern that our students have been passionate about for almost two decades, and this grant helps us take our service efforts to a new level.”

The Honors College launched a campus-wide campaign in November with National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week to collect canned goods to be donated to the YSU Student Food Pantry on campus and the Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley as one component to the MLK Day of Service project.

Student organizations can collect and donate cans at Fok Hall on the YSU campus through Dec. 9 for a chance to win money toward their organization. The groups that donate the most cans will win $150, $75 or $50 prizes. Faculty and staff on campus are also encouraged to donate canned goods at Fok Hall through Jan. 13.

The MLK Day of Service Community Partnership Project is funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service and supported by four other State Campus Compact partners: Campus Compact of the Mountain West, New York Campus Compact, North Carolina Campus Compact, and Wisconsin Campus Compact.

Caption: Caroline Smith, sophomore, left, and Megan Evans, senior, both Honors students. Evans is serving as the student coordinator on the grant.