The COVID-19 pandemic has directly impacted daily life. Travel is limited, schools have closed, businesses are reimagining the way they operate, and significant events are being postponed or canceled. This is an unprecedented time for everyone, and 49er students are no exception.
The impact of COVID-19 has brought many UNC Charlotte students new financial challenges that were previously unforeseen, including affording housing, transportation, food, medical expenses and gaining access to necessary resources needed for remote learning. UNC Charlotte has created two funds, the UNC Charlotte Emergency Relief Fund and the Jamil Niner Student Pantry Fund to provide much needed relief to students.
The Emergency Relief Fund helps current students by providing financial support for unexpected, unforeseen and unavoidable emergency expenses, including pandemics. To date, UNC Charlotte has awarded more than $230,500 to 557 students.
Thanks to the generosity of two UNC Charlotte alumni, the Demond and Kia Martin Foundation matched dollar-for-dollar the first $100,000 in gifts made to the Emergency Relief Fund. Demond ’97 and Kia ’98 are longtime supporters of UNC Charlotte.
“Kia and I are committed to doing our part to help our 49er students and families, who need us more than ever, during this extraordinary and unprecedented time,” said Demond Martin. “I encourage fellow alumni to make a gift of any size to the Emergency Relief Fund today. Working together, we will get through this difficult time and help show our students that we truly are all Niners.”
The Jamil Niner Student Pantry helps UNC Charlotte students who struggle with food insecurities to ensure that every student has access to nutritious food. During this time the on-campus pantry remains open for students, utilizing a web order form to maximize social distancing. The staff bags the groceries and hands them to students so they don’t have to shop in the pantry. A contribution of $50 to the Jamil Niner Student Pantry will provide seven lunches and a $100 donation will feed one student dinner all week.
As part of its ongoing partnership with the Jamil Niner Student Pantry, TIAA generously donated more than 1,600 pounds of food to the pantry last week.
Note: This article was updated from its original posting.