Jeff and Penny Vinik, through their Vinik Family Foundation, are giving $50,000 to the University of South Florida United Support Fund.
The initiative provides financial relief to students who are facing economic need – rent, food, and other unexpected expenses – due to the coronavirus pandemic.
With the gift from the Tampa Bay Lightning owner’s foundation, the fund is now up to over $240,000. More than 1,100 people have donated. Contributions can be made through the USF Foundation’s website.
“We are pleased to be able to assist the students at USF during this difficult and uncertain time,” Jeff and Penny Vinik said. “We encourage everyone who is able to find a way to give of their time, talent or treasure to those who need assistance during this pandemic.”
USF officials say over 1,000 students have applied for aid, with about 175 receiving funds and hundreds of other applications still being reviewed. Students can apply through the Office of Financial Aid.
“We are truly grateful to Jeff and Penny Vinik for supporting our students during a very challenging time,” USF President Steven Currall said. “There’s nothing more important than the health and wellness of our community and the impact of each gift will provide much-needed relief to our students.”
USF is also accepting non-perishable food items and toiletries for its student food pantries on its Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee campuses.
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