Rising costs of attendance at EMU is known to all students, those who receive Pell Grants and those who do not alike. I have donated, volunteered, shopped at, and worked at Swoop’s Food Pantry since I was a Freshman at EMU, which has helped me save money that I can instead put towards tuition.
You can find fresh produce at Swoop’s, along with a variety of non-perishable cans, ramen, snacks, cereal, frozen meat and vegan options, hygiene products, clothes, school supplies, and more! The Pantry is currently open at 104 Pierce Hall, Monday 10 a.m. -5 p.m., Wednesday noon - 6:30 p.m., and Thursday noon - 5 p.m., and you can shop in person or come in for a pre-scheduled pick up order. Just fill out the Swoop’s Intake Form here.
Swoop’s can also be a resource to receive volunteer hours or find a work-study eligible job opportunity, while supporting your community. Proper staffing is crucial to maintaining the pantry and helping it grow to better serve the EMU community. Donations are accepted during open hours, which will be expanding during the fall semester to include Friday’s.
If you receive a pell grant or work study, you may also be eligible for food assistance and Medicaid. To be eligible for food assistance or Medicaid, you must be financially independent from your parents and meet the State of Michigan income requirements, among other requirements. However, there are no income requirements or barriers to using the pantry. If it will help you through your time at EMU, use it!
According to a Hope College survey of four-year universities in 2018, 25% of students said they were having trouble affording their rent and 38% reported experiencing food insecurity. Yet, Swoops has seen a decrease in shoppers since last summer, while rent and food prices in Ypsilanti continue to increase. If it will help you through your time at EMU, use it!
As tuition increases, online course fees are reinstated, and local housing (both on and off campus) becomes increasingly unaffordable, students need to be aware of what services are readily available. This includes a free book initiative where students can find free EBooks for many of their classes. If you’re a professor reading this, please consider using or requesting a book from the EMU Library Textbook Affordability Initiative for your upcoming courses! You can also find other resources on the EMU Student Government resource page, which includes information to support students who rent off campus.
While all of these services are free and beneficial, the return of online fees and the tuition hike is still going to negatively impact students. Make sure to always check your EMU email account for updates about financial aid, and If you have not done so already, please sign these petitions to waive online fees and distribute aid to students who are struggling to pay down their EBills.