Funds aid students with emergency expenses, food, shelter

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

UNH has made it a habit to be there for students in times of need. A few years ago, when an undergraduate’s research project revealed some students on campus were going hungry, a food insecurity task force was formed and Swipe It Forward, a program aimed at providing free meals in the dining halls for students in need, was launched. 

Next came Inn Between, available to all UNH students facing homelessness. The fund pays for housing at UNH during Thanksgiving, spring break and the January term. Emergency support is also available. 

A Helping Hand For Those With No Options

These programs will continue even after the COVID -19 crisis is over.

Mary, a graduate student, had to remain on campus during the COVID-19 pandemic. She had no meal plan and lost her job in the area due to the shutdown. Swipe It Forward allotted her 100 meals last week to use to pick up boxed meals at the campus dining hall.

Fred, a junior, didn’t have the funds to buy a $200 textbook he needed for an upper-level major course. His family could not help and earnings from his two jobs go toward food and rent. The Student Emergency Financial Assistance Fund provided the funds to buy the textbook for him.

Alice and John are siblings, both sophomores, who had no home to go over once the fall semester ended. Inn Between provide the funds to allow them to stay on campus until the spring semester began.

The newest student-assistance program helps undergraduate and graduate students dealing with a temporary or unexpected hardship. The Student Emergency Assistance Fund offers short-term assistance to students enrolled and taking classes at UNH who have an immediate financial crisis. Funds can be used for such things as emergency travel, medical costs, safety and security needs, auto repairs and academic supplies.

Awards typically range from $100 to $500. Tuition, room and board, health insurance and study abroad costs are not covered.

“These support funds for our UNH students will help them stay as whole as possible through this crisis,” says John (Ted) Kirkpatrick, senior vice provost for student life and dean of students. “There are so many students and families that are struggling with the financial challenges of the pandemic; President Dean and his leadership team have heard from many of them during the past few weeks.”

UNH students who find themselves in a temporary financial bind can contact Kirkpatrick at ted.kirkpatrick@unh.edu to submit a request for funding. Applications are reviewed and the  level of assistance provided is determined on a case-by-case basis.

“I speak for many of us on campus who are so very grateful for the support of our own faculty and staff and the generous gifts from so many of our donors to help our students. It matters to us. More importantly, it matters to our students. We are grateful,” Kirkpatrick says.

Information on donating to any of these funds can be found by visiting the program pages: The Student Emergency Assistance FundSwipe It ForwardInn Between.