Spring on the York College campus

Spartan Food Pantry

By Corrine Longenbach '20
Students and faculty stand holding food in the Spartan Food Pantry.
Left to right, Briana Derrick ’20 (Pomona, NY); Ines Ramirez, Assistant Director of Intercultural Student Life and International Student Support; Sarah Burton ’22 (Pylesville, MD), and Associate Professor Kay McAdams.

Kay McAdams, Associate Professor of History and York College of Pennsyl- vania’s Director of General Education, is using project-based learning in her First-Year Seminar class to address a food insecurity problem on campus.

McAdams and her class are helping to improve the Spartan Food Pantry, which serves YCP students. It was established in 2016 by the Office of Intercultural Student Life and Global Programming. Through project-based learning, students work to improve the nutritional value of the food being collected, decrease the stigma of using the Pantry, increase the Pantry’s publicity, and expand the Pantry to help more students all year long.

McAdams notes, "In the classroom, you can teach students about food insecurity, but here they see it in the real world.” Students work with campus offices, attend meetings with officials, and develop professional skills while learning to address an important issue.

Lizzy Fenner, sophomore and Biology major from Street, Maryland, acknowledges this project may not help her directly, but it will make her a better person. “This class helped me be more aware of what’s going on around me. This is my community, my home, and I want to help any way I can,” she says.

McAdams has seen real progress with the food pantry and her students have developed through working on the project. This year she plans to push the class to focus on the stigma issue.