FaraciSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Paul Faraci passed legislation aimed at creating a hunger-free campus grant program.

“Student hunger is grave and it's crucial that we exhaust all means possible to aid our students in having access to nourishing and healthy food,” said Faraci (D-Champaign). “This proposed legislation is a significant stride toward resolving this issue and creating a campus that's free from hunger for our students. The grant program is an essential aspect of this legislation.”

House Bill 2528 aims 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 requires 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 on Wednesday and awaits further action before the governor.