The face of the traditional college student is changing.

What We Are About

In 2014, winning Difference Maker team, Support Our Students (S.O.S) received a $7,000 prize, which was used to establish the emergency meal swipe program. Through this achievement, established the emergency meal swipe program, which serves students of low-income status access to food resources.

S.O.S is committed to ensuring that any student who may be experiencing food insecurity has access to meet this basic need. More students are coming from low-income families, some that are the first in their family to go to college, and others that have served our country. These inspiring and motivated students are on scholarships, receiving financial aid, working more than 15 hours a week, maintaining a full class load, and having to ration their food to get to the end of the month. The S.O.S meal program, developed in partnership with University Dining, will not just feed our UMass Lowell (UML) students, but also alleviate the stress of not knowing where their next meal is coming from. When the hunger barrier has been removed, all of our students can focus on creating a future where they reach their full potential. Support Our Students will nourish our future graduates for a healthy and productive community.

Accessing this Program

On a need-based occurrence, Student & Family Support Services will provide one free meal for a student to use in any dining hall during class days (for a maximum of five meals per week, to be used one per day). Meal qualification will occur for each semester when meals are requested. This occurrence is on a case-by-case basis and requires financial hardship beyond the student's control.

Application Process

The application will initiate your request for meals and you will be contacted within 5-7 business days as to the status of your request. Not all requests will be granted. Criteria taken into consideration will be financial aid information such as your income, family contributions and/or tax filing status, as well as the circumstances outlined in your written letter.

Application Update for 2023-2024 Academic Year:

At this time, we have reached capacity of this program.  Any new applications submitted will be placed on a waitlist.  As we are able to increase the number of openings we will review and notify applicants. 

We are beginning the academic year with a limited number of students we will be able to approve for the SOS program. While this may increase in the fall semester, all students, even those who have been approved in the past, will need to provide additional information in order to demonstrate need. Students are encouraged to continue utilizing food resources as this program is a temporary supplemental program. Along with the UML Strive Pantry, please visit our community resources page to review local food resources in the area.

Support Our Students Meals Application

For questions, please email: