Life Help: Student Emergency and Basic Needs Resources

Minnesota State University, Mankato recognizes the challenges that college students face every day. This website includes resources that you may find helpful to navigating life.

At the bottom of this webpage, you can find ways to support students in need.


Food Resources

A pile of canned foods

Swipe out Hunger

Sodexo, Swipe out Hunger, and Minnesota State University, Mankato are partnering to fight student food insecurity. Sodexo has provided meals to establish a Meal Swipe Bank for use by food insecure students. Students may request swipes by using the form on the Dining Service website. Once meal swipes are added to the applicant’s Mav Card, those meals are can be used by swiping in at the University Dining Center. To apply, fill out the Swipe Out Hunger Meal Request Form.

Campus Cupboard

Located in the Crossroads Campus Ministry next to campus, it is a food shelf open to all college students.  Visit their Facebook page for more information.

Campus Kitchen at Minnesota State University, Mankato

The Campus Kitchen at Minnesota State University, Mankato collects donated food from local commercial kitchens and restaurants, makes it into meals, and distributes it to agencies that serve people facing food insecurity. There are several ways students can obtain food from the Campus Kitchen:

1)   Stop by our Bread Cart, located at the entrance of Crossroads. There you can find day-old bread, pastries, and bagels. The bread cart is restocked daily, and access is available when the building is open, Monday – Friday, 8 am – 9 pm. We trust that students will take what they need, and leave the rest for others who need food, too.

2)   Stop by our Campus Kitchen Little Fridge, located just inside the second entrance to Crossroads. There you can find sack lunches, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fruit, cheddar biscuits, and other food that requires refrigeration.  The CKLF is restocked daily and access is available when the building is open, Monday – Friday, 8 am – 9 pm. We trust that students will take what they need, and leave the rest for others who need food, too.

3)   Sign up to volunteer at the Campus Kitchen. Volunteers are offered the opportunity to take food home, too. Visit Engage, search for the Community Engagement Office portal, then review the events to sign up for a volunteer shift that fits your schedule.

The Campus Kitchen at Minnesota State University, Mankato is located in Crossroads Campus Ministry building, located at 331 Dillon Avenue (behind the Performing Arts Building and across the street from Trafton). For updates and additional information, visit the Campus Kitchen at MSU, Mankato Facebook Page or contact the Community Engagement Office, 507-389-5789,

ECHO Food Shelf

ECHO is concerned about the health and safety of their clients and volunteers. Therefore, they are taking new temporary precautionary measures due to coronavirus.

Clients will not be doing their own shopping. Instead:

1. Phone lines will be open from 9 am-4:30pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and Thursdays from 9am-6:30pm
2. Clients can call 507-345-7508 
for an appointment time
3. A volunteer will call back to determine clients' dislikes, allergies, dietary restrictions, etc.
4. The cart will be ready for clients to pick up at the door at the scheduled appointment time.


ECHO DELIVERS OUTREACH PROGRAM OPTION: ECHO recognizes that there is a segment of the population who needs extra food for their diet but cannot access the food shelf during regular operating hours because they lack transportation.  For residents in this situation, ECHO will start offering delivery of food supplies to those individuals who ask for the service. Call the client line at 507-345-7508, if you need help.

Online same-day appointments are also available for clients. New clients can also complete the application online. Please visit their website for more information.

How can I get from campus to ECHO Food Shelf? More information can be found here.

They appreciate your patience and cooperation during this time. Please answer the phone when their volunteer calls you and show up at your scheduled appointment time to pick up your food. They will do their best to get you the food that you can use.


Maverick Food Pantry

The Maverick Food Pantry is a new Minnesota State University, Mankato initiative providing perishable and non-perishable food as well as toiletries for students that are in need.


SNAP Outreach

Provides federal food support program enrollment assistance and information about food support, screening and application assistance. Provided by Second Harvest Heartland and the University of Minnesota Extension.

To apply, follow the Second Harvest link and click on the application link below your county coordinator information. You may also call 844-764-5513 or 651-209-7963. LEARN MORE

Food for All

Food For All food program is funded by the proceeds from the Neighborhood Thrift Store. Everyone is welcome to attend with no paperwork necessary. The program is held on the second Saturday of each month at Goodrich Construction, 1700 3rd Ave. in Mankato. It begins at 9:00 a.m. and you are welcome to arrive at 8:30 a.m. to line up early.

During the pandemic, Food for All will continue via a drive-thru format.

Visit the website for general information; visit their Facebook page for more up-to-date information.  

Salvation Army

Salvation Army continues offer its noon meal program from 12 noon to 1 p.m. All meals are take-out only. The program is located at 700 Riverfront Drive in Mankato. General information is on its website or Facebook page.

Health and Counseling Resources

Mental health crisis spurs new Suicide and Crisis Lifeline number - 988

It can be difficult to ask for help, particularly when in distress. It is hard to think clearly or rationally when your life seems overwhelming or hopeless. For some people, these feelings may lead to suicidal thoughts. In recognizing the growing mental health crisis, Congress recently passed the National Suicide Hotline Act designating a new three-digit number — 988 — as the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline number. Effective Saturday, July 16, people in distress can dial 988 rather than the previous 10-digit number. The change is modeled after the 911 emergency assistance program allowing those in crisis to seek support. To learn more and develop your safety plan, click here.

211 Basic Needs Resource Hub

Minnesota State University, Mankato and Minnesota State have partnered with United Way 211 to establish a statewide basic needs resource hub. The basic needs resource hub provides Minnesota State University, Mankato students access to basic needs resources and support available on campus and in the community via phone, text, or chat 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Learn more about this new resource

Campus Counseling Center

The Counseling Center provides a range of help and services, from individual and group counseling to referrals. Services are free, comfortable, and confidential; the Counseling Center is here to help students navigate any difficulties going on personally, socially, or in school. It doesn’t have to be a crisis - no problem is too small, if it’s in the way come to the Center and explore the services we have to offer you.

Student Health Services

The Student Health Services Medical Clinic and Pharmacy remain open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Medical providers are available for both in-person and telehealth visits. These can be scheduled through the Patient Portal or by calling during business hours. In addition, the office has implemented a COVID-19 Hotline just for students! Calls to (507) 389-5591 will be answered or responded to Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For information about student medical care or connection to campus resources, contact Student Health Services at or (507) 389-6276.

Quality and affordable health care is available to every student. An accredited on-site medical clinic with a full-service pharmacy, lab services and health education are all part of Student Health Services.

Open Door Health Center

Open Door Health Center continues to see patients. When you call for an appointment, they will screen for COVID-19 symptoms. They offer telemedicine but realize that not all of their patients have access to devices. If you need to come into the clinic, they screen for COVID-19 at the door. Open Door Health Center is a nonprofit community health center, providing quality affordable health care to everyone!

Financial Resources

Financial Aid Office

The Student Financial Aid office is committed to providing valuable information about financial aid programs and processes to ensure each student has access to the maximum available funds. The financial services specialists at the Campus Hub are available to answer questions and connect students with additional advising assistance if needed.


Minnesota State University, Mankato is fortunate to have generous individuals who donate to scholarship funds. The purpose of the scholarships is to assist undergraduate students in meeting the cost of attendance at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Emergency Grant for Students

For many students, an unexpected car repair or a medical bill can mean the end of their college hopes. While typically not large expenses, they can be enough to put these students in a serious bind: stay in college or pay the bill. By quickly delivering small grants to students encountering unexpected expenses, Minnesota State University, Mankato helps more of these students stay in school and on track for degree completion.  

Blue Earth County Human Services / Social Services

The Human Services Department’s mission is to effectively and efficiently deliver essential services to families and individuals so they can achieve their potential through active community participation.


Use Handshake to look for jobs and internships, register for career events, schedule an appointment and more!

Legal Services

Student Attorney

Students at Minnesota State University, Mankato have access to free legal advice. The Student Association provides a licensed practicing attorney through funding from student activity fees. Offering legal advice to individual students and researching legal issues for student body governance are the most important functions of the Student's Attorney. The Student's Attorney advises and informs students and special interest groups at Minnesota State Mankato on a part-time basis.

Transportation Resources

Mankato Transit Services

Social distancing has been implemented on all city buses and additional efforts include daily sanitation and twice-a-week deep cleaning. View Mankato’s COVID-19 webpage for helpful information and resources about city service.  

Grocery Store Bus Routes 

Discovering the various bus routes can be difficult at first. To make it easier, check out the grocery store bus route comparison for each of the Mankato grocery stores and ECHO Food Shelf from Julia Sears Residence Hall here

Donation Opportunities

Support College Students in Need

MavCares Emergency Grants

A MAV Cares Emergency Grant provides critical resources so students can stay in school even when their campus or other employment is not available. Your gift helps students afford housing, transportation, online learning resources and more. With your support, we can help students facing emergencies right now. Donate to MavCares here

Student Affairs Food Shelf Donation

Food insecurity is an issue for some of our college students and your gift to provide food for students who need this help is welcomed.  Your donation will go directly to support a local food shelf that directly supports our students.  On the Donation Page select More Giving Options and then Student Affairs DivisionDonate to Student Affairs Food Shelf here.

General Scholarship Fund

The need for scholarship support is greater than ever. At Minnesota State Mankato almost all scholarship support available to students comes from private support – from donors– the majority of whom are alumni. Would you make a gift to support a student this fall through the general scholarship fund? Donate to General Scholarships here

Please direct any questions you may have to or 507-389-2121.  Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management, David Jones is the contact for this website.