About the Meal Scholarship Program
The Meal Scholarship Program is a new initiative from the Campus Basic Needs Committee, designed to provide an additional short-term food resource for students facing food insecurity caused by an emergency or other unforeseen circumstances. The Meal Scholarship Committee is composed of student support staff from The Office of PittServes, CARS Team, Panther Central, and OAFA.
Students should apply using this form, which takes about 15-20 minutes to complete.
Who can apply?
Meal Scholarships are available for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Your student status will be confirmed by your 2P number–the number on the front of your student ID (Panther Card).
Is there an income requirement?
No, there is no specific income limit, and you will not be asked to prove your income when applying.
What counts as an emergency or unforeseen circumstance?
For the purpose of this program, any event resulting in either an unexpected expense or loss of income or other financial support qualifies as an unforeseen circumstance.
What can I expect when I submit an application? When will I hear back?
When you submit an application, you will receive an automated email confirming that your submission has been received. After that, you can expect to hear back from the Meal Scholarship Committee within one week, if not sooner, depending on your unique situation. If the University is closed, you can expect a response within one week of it reopening.
If your application is approved, 15 meal passes will be loaded directly onto your Panther Card, and you will receive a confirmation email when they are ready to use. Whether your request is approved or declined, you will have the (optional) opportunity to meet one-on-one via Zoom with a student support professional to answer any questions and receive information on additional campus and community resources based on your needs.
How often can I apply?
The goal of this program is to provide short-term assistance via 15 meal swipes, as well as connections to long-term food and other basic needs resources. That said, if your situation changes or you are still struggling to meet your food needs through other campus and community resources, you may apply again.
Can I still apply if I am receiving other forms of food assistance or non-food aid?
Yes– If you currently utilize another form of food assistance, such as SNAP or a food pantry, but are still unable to meet your dietary needs, you may apply. Other forms of aid, such as the Pell Grant, reduced rent programs, or utility assistance, do not impact your eligibility for the Meal Scholarship.
Will the Meal Scholarship impact my eligibility for other financial aid?
No, receiving the Meal Scholarship does not impact your eligibility for any other forms of financial assistance, and you do not need to declare the scholarship if/when you apply for financial aid.
How and where can I use the meal swipes?
Where do the swipes come from?
Since Spring 2019, students have been donating leftover meal swipes in the dining halls as part of a collaborative program between the University and our dining services providers, and in partnership with Swipe Out Hunger and Sharing Excess. The donated swipes have been “banked” and will be distributed through the Meal Scholarship program.