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: Swipes leaders table outside of dining halls and in common areas, inviting students to donate their excess meal funds. Students donate by providing their name, ID number, number of meals or dollars and their signature. These tables are equipped with updated, relevant info on local hunger and resources for students in need of assistance. After the drive the list of student donors is submitted to Dining Services staff, who are able to tally and withdraw the funds that students have donated.
Via Swipe Machine: Cafeteria and grocery store staff invite students to donate while they are checking out at registers, withdrawing meal funds from their accounts on the spot. Alternatively, Swipes leaders borrow a swipe machine to use at their table, allowing them to directly withdraw funds from student's accounts.
Online: A google form or similar survey is publicized to the student body via social media and campus newsletters, inviting them to fill out and submit their information online if they would like to donate. This survey may be embedded within a mobile app that students use to track meal account balances or it may be linked to a “donate” button installed on the school’s website.
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 Credit Program: Donated meal swipes are converted into meal credits 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 meal credit 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. Student leaders, 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.