Food Security Guide for Graduate Students

*Due to the University’s closure of most on-campus services in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, we’ve made changes to respond to current needs and changed resources.*

If you sometimes struggle to feed yourself (and maybe your family), we want to help.

The BU Department of Religion acknowledges that many graduate students in our program struggle to make ends meet. For some, that means they don’t always have enough money to buy adequate food. The COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbates existing difficulties. During this crisis, we are committed to addressing our students’ needs, by providing emergency relief where necessary, connecting students to other campus and local resources, and advocating for our students with university administration.

Department

If you’re a Religion student in need of immediate assistance, please let us know. Because of the pandemic, our weekly community lunches are suspended and the department food pantry is inaccessible until campus reopens. However, we have ways to help. Please contact Graduate Student Association President David Malamud (malamud@bu.edu) or Department Administrator (wlczik@bu.edu).

University

  • Due to the pandemic, the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GRS) has made some funding—direct assistance, not loans—available for students in “immediate financial distress.” This is in addition to their previous options for emergency loans and advances on stipends.
    • For all of these options, visit http://www.bu.edu/cas/emergency-funding-for-graduate-students/
  • The BU Wheelock Community Cares Food & Essentials Pantry is temporarily closed due to COVID-19.
    • They suggest some other resources: https://www.bu.edu/wheelock/information-for-students/community-cares/
  • The Terrier Meal Share program is ongoing for the Spring semester.  Through an online portal, students can donate their extra guest dining hall meals to other students in need. Those needing short-term assistance can sign up and five meals will be deposited on their Terrier Card and can be used in all BU dining halls. Students can expect a callback usually the same day/evening but no later than the next day. The process is completely confidential.
    • Please reach out to me if you have any further needs/concerns and I will put you in touch with the correct individual
    • Options are available for students living off-campus
    • More information: https://www.bu.edu/dos/terrier-meal-share/terrier-meal-share-assistance-request/

Local resources

Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline at 1-800-645-8333 (http://www.projectbread.org/get-help/) is one-stop shopping for up-to-date information about government benefits, food pantries, and other resources. They can help sort out which resources are close to you and fit your schedule and help you determine if you’re eligible for benefits like SNAP and WIC.