Coming Together to Respond to COVID-19
Over the last few months, we have been working hard to ensure student basic needs are protected and advocated for amidst so much uncertainty. We continue to be mission-focused, student-centric, and channeling innovation to meet the most imminent concerns.
We have launched the following efforts to be responsive to what students are telling us they need:
Get Customized Support with our Student Navigator Network
As the pandemic unfolded and colleges and universities around the country shifted their operations, thousands of students are facing exacerbated financial, academic, and personal crises.
To help students during this critical time, we partnered with Rise to collaboratively launch our Student Navigator Network, a one-on-one online student referral service that helps students. This innovative program employs and trains Student Navigators to help their peers access the resources available to them, reducing the stigma often associated with seeking assistance.
Convening for Higher Education Scenario Planning
The higher education sector is gearing up for a new reality. What will Fall 2020 and 2021 look like? Will dining halls ever exist again? What will be the impact of state budget cuts? How can students, colleges, nonprofits, and funders be prepared for the potential realities?
In mid-August, we brought together an intimate group of students and stakeholders to gather our collective wisdom with the goal of sharing, learning and helping inform our programs for next year.
The future of higher education may be undetermined, but as an organization, we are preparing for whatever that future may look like. We embark on this journey of charting a path forward together with our partners. Stay tuned for more information coming out of this convening.
Participate in Our COVID-19 Student Survey
Capture the impact COVID-19 has had on students at your school with our student survey. The findings can inform how campus leadership should prioritize and scale their response to support students. The data will be returned to each campus to be used as an advocacy tool.
Watch Our Webinars
As the crisis began to unfold, our team sprung into rapid response mode by hosting a series of “Campus Coalition in COVID-19” webinars to share critical information and resources focused on supporting students’ basic needs. We had over 150 attendees join us for this 5 part webinar series. Check out all of our past webinars on our Vimeo page.
Check out our #FairCARES Student Advocacy Campaign
On March 27, 2020, Congress passed the CARES Act, in which $6.28 billion was required to be distributed directly to students as emergency aid. In April 2020, Swipe Out Hunger launched this student advocacy campaign, urging students to ask their institutions to disburse CARES Act funding in a fair, equitable, and transparent manner. As a result, we engaged 30 campuses on this campaign to ensure every cent of the $6 billion for emergency aid gets into the hands of students. We trained over 50 students at our #FairCARES launch & advocacy training. As part of these efforts, the below advocacy toolkit was developed by Swipe Out Hunger in partnership with Rise and Challah for Hunger. Thank you to Michelson 20MM Foundation for their support of this toolkit.
Bright Spots: Learn from Our Campus Partners
We have been in close contact with our campus partners and beyond, inspired by the many ways they’re taking action to protect students’ basic needs during this pandemic. Check out some of the ways campuses have been innovating:
– 5 Ways Campus Pantries Have Adapted During COVID-19
– Just Keep Swiping, Just Keep Swiping: How Colleges are Leveraging Swipe Programs
– The Power of Community Care During COVID-19: Mutual Aid & Resource Guides
Resource Guides, Templates, and More
We have compiled some immediate resources for you to use in your work to ensure students’ basic needs are met during the COVID-19 response.