The period during which students are able to donate their meal swipes. These are traditionally held at the end of each academic term and last for one or two weeks. This is our premier program.
How Might They Look:
On Paper: Our Swipes leaders table outside of dining halls and/or in common areas, inviting students to donate their excess meals/dollars. Students donate by providing their name, ID number, number of meals and their signature. These tables are equipped with updated, relevant info on local hunger and resources for students in need of assistance.
Via Swipe Machine: Our Swipes leaders borrow a swipe machine to use at their table, allowing them to directly withdraw the funds from students’ accounts. Alternatively, cafeteria and grocery store staff invite students to donate while they are checking out at registers.
Online: A “donate” button is installed on the school’s main website or the page where students track meal account balances, a google form is sent out to students, or a mobile app is used to accept student donations.
Where Funds Go Once Collected:
Food insecure college students are our key demographic. We support students by working with their universities to identify and monitor students who struggle with hunger. Additionally, a number of our chapters support local non-profit organizations that focus on hunger.
1. Meal Voucher Program: Donated meal swipes are converted into meal vouchers for students in need, which are thoughtfully distributed by a trusted campus administrative office that already works with this population, such as the financial aid office or resource center. A voucher grants a student access into campus dining centers, so the student can, just like everyone else, enjoy a warm meal.
2. Campus Food Closet: Donated meal swipes are used to buy bulk produce or provide direct financial support to the campus pantry.
3. Local Community Partner: The Swipes team selects a local, off-campus food distribution program or shelter to serve as the beneficiary. Our students, with our support, often choose a local organization at which they can also volunteer.
Swipes encourages each of our chapters to host regular volunteer opportunities for students in their team and the larger campus network to engage with the community. We believe that on-the-ground engagement will foster a sense of empathy and consciousness amongst our students and future leaders.
Examples of Volunteer Programming:
Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week: A week long initiative on campuses to raise awareness around the causes and effects of food and housing insecurity. The week can include: a panel on homelessness, a film screening, volunteer opportunities, thought provoking signage around campus, a food stamp challenge etc.
Swipe Insecurity Campaign: A campaign to raise awareness about the prevalence of on-campus hunger, and start a conversation to fight the stigma surrounding personal finances—the barrier often preventing students from seeking support.