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Emergency fund helps UMKC students during COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 5:58 AM, May 06, 2020

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — University of Missouri-Kansas City students struggling to pay bills and other expenses are getting some needed help from a fund set up by the UMKC Foundation.

UMKC's Student Relief Emergency Fund helps students having trouble paying for food, housing and any unplanned and unbudgeted issues during the pandemic.

The fund is a last resort for help that students can find by first going through financial aid to explore other options.

UMKC Foundation president Lisa Baronio explained the financial situation many students deal with.

"Many of our students are working full time at the same time they're going to school at UMKC, and they also, many of them have families and they have found themselves many times laid off due to this coronavirus," Baronio said.

Baronio said 30 students have been helped since the emergency fund was started in March.

On average, qualifying students could get $500. However, UMKC junior Gillian Campbell got $855 to pay her rent.

In addition to her studies, Campbell works at a Kansas City restaurant and said receiving the emergency money was a huge relief.

"So not only did I pay the month of April, I was able to pay the month of May. So while I'm finishing out these last couple weeks of school, I don't have to worry about, am I going to have a roof over my head? Which is one of like the biggest stressors, I think, when you're going to school and having to pay for school and pay for your living expenses," Campbell explained.

The student emergency fund has raised $75,000. It operates off of donations. People interested in giving can do so by visiting the UMKC's website.