Nittany Nook provides students with Downtown Sharon Farmers Market vouchers

Green tomatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, peaches, blueberries, cherries, and squash.

Produce at the farmers market in Sharon, Pennsylvania.

Credit: Jammie Clark

SHARON, Pa. — Foods like fresh fruits and vegetables can quickly add up on a student’s weekly grocery bill, especially amid a pandemic when budgets may be tighter than ever.

To help students maintain balanced diets over the summer, Penn State Shenango’s Nittany Nook food pantry is partnering with the Downtown Sharon Farmers Market.

“We are happy to offer students healthy options while supporting local vendors in the City of Sharon,” said Billie Jean Horvath, Nittany Nook committee chair.

Produce like berries, cherries, peaches, apples, tomatoes, lettuce, cauliflower, zucchini, squash, and onions are summer staples at the market, as well as freshly baked goods.

The Nittany Nook food pantries have anonymously provided grab-and-go meals and snacks since 2018 with the goal of allowing students to focus on their studies while on campus. While the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted how the Nittany Nook provides support, the committee has also adjusted.

Horvath continued, “Since going remote, we have offered contactless pickups for food bags and grocery store gift cards to students who need support. If there is a way to help students with food security, we try to make it happen. The vouchers to the farmers market perfectly align with our mission.”

The farmers market is opened until the end of Oct. on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 7 a.m. until 12 p.m. at the Reyer’s parking lot in Sharon. More information about vendors and schedules can be viewed on the Downtown Sharon Farmers Market’s Facebook page.

Students that would like to receive farmers market vouchers should email [email protected] or call Student Affairs at 724-983-2836 for directions.

Community members are welcomed to email [email protected] with questions. Physical food donations for the Nittany Nook are not being accepted at this time. Donations can be made online at Penn State Shenango's giving website – all monetary donations directly assist Shenango students.