Eastern Michigan University receives $130K to renovate campus food pantry

EMU's mascot poses with a Swoop's Pantry sign on campus. (Eastern Michigan University)

YPSILANTI, Mich. – Eastern Michigan University has announced a $130,000 gift from alumni group GameAbove to expand and renovate Swoop’s Food Pantry on campus.

As food prices rise, school officials said the services provided by both Swoop’s and the John and Angie Sabo Food Pantry Room are vital to the EMU community.

“The renovations come at a time when students are facing barriers such as high food costs and other economic hurdles,” graduate assistant at EMU Andrea Kelly said in a statement. “With the larger space that GameAbove generously contributed to, more students are able to access the support they need to complete their education.”

EMU students, faculty and staff members can access the pantry at no cost during its working hours.

Swoop’s exists to provide relief to community members undergoing financial hardship. It features a dry food pantry, a fresh produce station, a student lounge and thrift area.

The student-led pantry, which launched in 2015, relies on donor support. The program has seen a steep rise in visits over the past two years, according to a release, and in March 2023, it distributed more than 17,000 pounds of food to the community.

“GameAbove supports Swoop’s because we believe in its mission,” advisory board member of GameAbove Khalid Walton said in a statement. “Its positive impact on the EMU community is unique during these challenging times, and this program is truly necessary.”

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.