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Resources for Miami students struggling with financial instability

Grad students worry about resources during summer break.
Grad students worry about resources during summer break.

With 40% of graduate students feeling the weight of food insecurity and other essential costs, Miami University and the Oxford community offers several outlets for students to turn to when bills are through the roof. 

Miami Cares Food Pantry

Located at 112 Nellie Craig Hall, the Miami Cares Food Pantry offers support to students struggling with food insecurity from living off less-than-satisfactory paychecks.

Open during university business hours (8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday), Miami Cares offers non-perishable food items and personal hygiene products for students. All Miami students have access to the pantry with use of their Miami ID. 

Student Success Center

Students are able to fill out a student emergency form in order to notify the university of their needs through the Student Success Center.Students are able to apply for assistance for food insecurity, temporary housing, rent and utilities, personal hygiene product insecurity, mental health bills, books, clothing, computer needs and LGBTQ+ emergency needs. 

The form is open to both undergraduate and graduate students. The Student Success Center website offers other resources for students including food assistance, temporary housing, a laptop replacement program, caregiver resources, utility resources, clothing and resources for foster care alumni and emancipated youth. 

Talawanda Oxford Pantry and Social Services 

Talawanda Oxford Pantry and Social Services (TOPSS) are available to graduate students in need through an application. If your yearly income is less than $27,180, or $2,265 monthly, or $523 weekly, you qualify for the services if you’re the only household member. The pantry has curbside pick-up, delivery and in-person options. Also, the community garden in the back is free for everyone to plant and/or harvest whatever they like.

Talawanda School District Little Free Pantry

There are several food cabinets around Oxford with free, non-perishable food, personal care products and school supplies. Each one is located at the main entrance to each of the five schools in the Talawanda School District and Oxford Lane Library.

Community meals

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Through Miami nutrition majors, the Oxford Senior Center and Faith Communities of Oxford, offer free Monday Meals. The service will continue to be served at the Oxford Senior Center every second Monday of the month from 5:30 to 6:30 pm. The meal includes an entree, vegetables, fruit and a grain. Both drive through and dine-in options are available.

Church dinners are held every Wednesday of every month. In-person and drive through meals are available, and the location of the church rotates between five participating churches. The locations include: Oxford United Methodist Church, Faith Lutheran Church, St. Mary Church, Holy Trinity Church and Oxford Presbyterian Church. For scheduled locations and times, visit Oxford United Methodist Church’s website

Oxford Farmers Market

If you’re part of a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Electronic Benefits Transfer (SNAP EBT), the farmers market Uptown accepts and matches $1 for $1 up to $25 on SNAP EBT purchases through the Produce Perks program. This can be spent on fruits and vegetables sold at the market. The market takes place every Saturday Uptown from 9 a.m. to noon. No previous registration is required; you just need to bring your EBT card to the main market booth.

To apply for SNAP, visit the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services website. Graduate students are able to qualify.

The application takes into account monthly income, number of household members, savings, pregnancy, dependents and other qualifying factors. Ohio government workers will determine if you are eligible within 30 days and reach out for a phone interview. Proof of US citizenship is not needed for SNAP, but applicants will need to show green card or other immigration documents if they’re not United States citizens. 

Family Resource Center

The Family Resource Center, located at 5445 College Corner Pike,  provides emergency financial assistance.

Requirements include six month residency in the Oxford/Talawanda School District, a household income of less than 125% of the federal poverty guideline, verification documents and the ability to support future expenses. Applications can be submitted through the website or by phone call during business hours at 513-523-5859.