MSU, OTC Help Vulnerable Students Through Emergency Funds, Food Pantry
Both MSU and OTC in Springfield have dedicated emergency funds for students in need, and they remain active even during the COVID-19 crisis.
Missouri State University President Clif Smart said on Twitter this week that he and his wife had donated to MSU's Bear Pantry, and encouraged others who were able to do the same.
Alex Johnson, who works with students and nonprofits at MSU, said food pantry is open from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and is located in Hutchens House on campus.
Johnson said there have been some changes.
“Instead of coming into the pantry and choosing items, we’ve created an online form, where folks can go online, choose the items that they’d like, and come over to Hutchens and pick them up during our hours of operations,” Johnson told KSMU.
Students who need non-food help can call the financial aid office at MSU. Rob Moore, director of financial aid at MSU, said a COVID-19 scholarship has been put together to help some students pay university fees, bills, and medical expenses. The application is at missouristate.edu/financialaid.]
Ozarks Technical Community College is also trying to prevent vulnerable students from slipping through the cracks. Amy Bacon with the OTC Foundation told KSMU students can request bus tickets or gas money, clothes, grocery store gift cards or medicine online.
Students visiting OTC’s homepage can click on a banner that reads “I Need Help!” The OTC Foundation has about $15,000 to use for students, Bacon said.
Services like the Bear Pantry and OTC Foundation rely on donations. You can donate here: OTC: https://foundation.otc.edu/