FaraciSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Paul Faraci advanced a measure aimed at creating the hunger-free campus grant program.

“Student hunger is a serious issue, and it’s important that we do everything we can to support our students and ensure that they have access to healthy and nutritious food,” said Faraci (D-Champaign). “This legislation is an important step towards addressing this problem and creating a hunger-free campus for our students.”

The purpose of the House Bill 2528 is to address student hunger by providing funding for grants to higher education institutions that have one or more campuses designated as hunger-free campuses. The grants will be used to leverage sustainable solutions, raise awareness of existing services on campus and build strategic partnerships to address food insecurity among students. The legislation also allows each institution to establish a hunger task force to determine strategies for achieving a hunger-free campus in order to be eligible for the grant.

Representative Carol Ammons (D-Champaign) sponsored this measure in the House.

Other states including California, New Jersey, Maryland, Minnesota, Louisiana and Pennsylvania have already adopted customized versions of the Hunger Free Campus legislation. Swipe Out Hunger reports that more than $100 million has been distributed nationwide through the Hunger Free Campus Act, with California alone supporting over two million students.

House Bill 2528 passed the Senate Higher Education Committee on Tuesday and awaits further action before the full Senate.