Eastern Michigan University celebrates $130K gift to renovate Swoop’s Food Pantry

Swoop stands by a color banner for the food pantry that features the GameAbove logo

YPSILANTI –  As food prices trend upward, Swoop’s Food Pantry and the John and Angie Sabo Food Pantry Room remain vital to provide no-cost food and necessities for the Eastern Michigan University community. The campus community and local leaders joined in celebrating a $130K gift from EMU alumni group GameAbove to expand Swoop’s and fill an even greater need on campus.

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

The open house, which took place at Pierce Hall, featured student speakers who shared how they could help their peers and see communities being reached in ways that wouldn't have been possible without the program. They also shared testimonies from students who expressed how Swoop’s provided relief when dealing with financial hardships and lack of transportation. Attendees received tours of the dry food pantry, new student lounge, thrift area, and fresh produce section.

Swoop's is a student-led program that relies on donor support for sustainability. Since the launch of Swoop’s Food Pantry in Sept. 2015, the program has seen a significant increase in students served. The program saw 263 visits in 2021 compared to an average of 62 visits per day this year. In March 2023, Swoop’s distributed more than 17,000 pounds of food alone.

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

About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 14,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. Visit the University’s rankings and points of pride websites to learn more. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.

May 03, 2023

Written by:
Melissa Thrasher

Media Contact:
Melissa Thrasher