fbpx

Reaching 100: A Year-End Reflection from our VP of Programs

Three years ago, I interviewed at a small start-up called Swipe Out Hunger. At the time, there was just one other employee — its Founder and CEO, Rachel Sumekh. And I’ll be honest — I didn’t know much about college student hunger when I joined the organization. Growing up in Los Angeles, in and around the restaurant industry, I was aware that access to food was a privilege — and sadly, not a right — but I didn’t realize just how pervasive and systemic hunger was for countless college students across the country. Today, I’m proud to say that my education on this pressing issue mirrors the growing interest in and reach of Swipe Out Hunger.

From our humble beginnings — carpooling around LA, hopping from coffee shop to coffee shop in search of WiFi — we have grown into a team of five women, working tirelessly to eradicate college student hunger in partnership with our network of campus leaders on the ground. When I joined Swipe Out Hunger in 2016, 10 campuses, mostly on the west coast, had adopted Swipe Out Hunger programs. Today, Swipe Out Hunger spans more than 100 campuses in 37 states, from UCLA to the University of Vermont, from the University of Minnesota to Spelman College. This is an astounding growth rate, all the more so considering this issue was largely invisible when we started. This was a topic many college administrations didn’t want to acknowledge, let alone address.

They say the mission of any nonprofit is to make itself obsolete — to solve the problem such that the need for the organization no longer exists. When I first started, I believed swiping out college student hunger was a noble and lofty goal. Something worthy to stand behind, but not necessarily realistic. Today, seeing the effectiveness of Swipe Out Hunger’s leadership, dedication and passion of our growing team, the voices on college campuses that will no longer be rendered invisible, and the partnerships we have cultivated, I see that goal in a new light. We have even come up with new ways to take our work to the next level with the launch of our Research and Development Lab. 

In the last school year alone, 73% of students we surveyed felt less stress and anxiety about where they would get their next meal as a result of receiving meals funded by Swipe Out Hunger. And that’s only one of the many promising results to come out of our work. If the Swipe Out Hunger program has grown 900% in three short years, imagine what we can accomplish in the next three, and the three after that. Ensuring that all college students have reliable access to meals no longer seems like a far off destination.

A cup of noodles shouldn’t be a rite of passage. Student hunger is real. And so too is the path to ending it. 

Other Blog Posts

This Giving Tuesday, Give Back to Your Local Campus Food Security Program!

This Giving Tuesday, Give Back to Your Local Campus Food Security Program!

A Student Advocate’s Guide to Sustaining a Movement Through Self-Care

A Student Advocate’s Guide to Sustaining a Movement Through Self-Care

A Student’s Perspective On The Impact of SNAP Incentive Programs

A Student’s Perspective On The Impact of SNAP Incentive Programs

A Day in the Life of A Nursing Student Fighting Hunger in Rural Arkansas

A Day in the Life of A Nursing Student Fighting Hunger in Rural Arkansas

Our Campus Survey: More of Your Questions Answered

Our Campus Survey: More of Your Questions Answered

3 Key Takeaways From Our National Campus Survey

3 Key Takeaways From Our National Campus Survey

Swipe Out Hunger Awards Over $420,000 in Grants to More Than 100 Campus Pantries

Swipe Out Hunger Awards Over $420,000 in Grants to More Than 100 Campus Pantries

4 Things To Know About Leading An Anti-Hunger Movement

4 Things To Know About Leading An Anti-Hunger Movement

Introducing the Inaugural Swipe Out Hunger Student Leadership and Advisory Council (SLAAC)

Introducing the Inaugural Swipe Out Hunger Student Leadership and Advisory Council (SLAAC)

Implementing Innovative Food Security Programs with Everytable

Implementing Innovative Food Security Programs with Everytable

Swipe Out Hunger Partners with The GIANT Company to Award $300,000 in Grants to Fight College Student Hunger

Swipe Out Hunger Partners with The GIANT Company to Award $300,000 in Grants to Fight College Student Hunger

Swipe Out Hunger Launches 2023 Impact Report

Swipe Out Hunger Launches 2023 Impact Report

Supporting Accessible & Healthy Meals for Students with Plug-In Pot™

Supporting Accessible & Healthy Meals for Students with Plug-In Pot™

365 Days at Swipe: Live Q&A with Executive Director Jaime Hansen

365 Days at Swipe: Live Q&A with Executive Director Jaime Hansen

Swipe Out Hunger Announces New Board Members

Swipe Out Hunger Announces New Board Members

Vlog: Swiping Out Hunger in the Twin Cities

Vlog: Swiping Out Hunger in the Twin Cities

Swipe Out Hunger and Ellucian Collaborate for Student Success

Swipe Out Hunger and Ellucian Collaborate for Student Success

A Holistic Approach to Student Health: The Connection Between Mental Health & Basic Needs Insecurity

A Holistic Approach to Student Health: The Connection Between Mental Health & Basic Needs Insecurity

Swipe Out Hunger Launches Inaugural Leadership Council

Swipe Out Hunger Launches Inaugural Leadership Council

Supporting College Students Through  Upcoming Changes to SNAP

Supporting College Students Through  Upcoming Changes to SNAP

Swipe Out Hunger Joins Forces with LG to Provide Healthy Meals for 500,000 College Students, Raise Awareness About Food Insecurity on Campuses

Swipe Out Hunger Joins Forces with LG to Provide Healthy Meals for 500,000 College Students, Raise Awareness About Food Insecurity on Campuses

Cultivating a Mindful and Inclusive Campus Culture: Supporting Students with Diverse Lived Experiences

Cultivating a Mindful and Inclusive Campus Culture: Supporting Students with Diverse Lived Experiences

Swipe Out Hunger Awards $15,000 in Basic Needs Recognition Grants

Swipe Out Hunger Awards $15,000 in Basic Needs Recognition Grants

Inside the Student-Led Anti-Hunger Movement in Florida

Inside the Student-Led Anti-Hunger Movement in Florida

Q&A with Jaime Hansen, Our Executive Director

Q&A with Jaime Hansen, Our Executive Director

Swipe Out Hunger Announces Board Leadership Transitions

Swipe Out Hunger Announces Board Leadership Transitions

How Campuses Are Ensuring Students Don’t Go Hungry This Break: Takeaways from our November Swipe Session

How Campuses Are Ensuring Students Don’t Go Hungry This Break: Takeaways from our November Swipe Session

Choose Your Own #GivingTuesday Adventure: Pick From 30+ Campuses To Donate To Today!

Choose Your Own #GivingTuesday Adventure: Pick From 30+ Campuses To Donate To Today!

Swipe Out Hunger Announces the 2022 Nachman Justice Award Recipients

Swipe Out Hunger Announces the 2022 Nachman Justice Award Recipients

Swipe Out Hunger Awards $3,000 Grants to Thirty Campus Pantries

Swipe Out Hunger Awards $3,000 Grants to Thirty Campus Pantries

Campus Champions: Recognizing Student Leaders with the Nachman Justice Award

Campus Champions: Recognizing Student Leaders with the Nachman Justice Award

An Update from Our Founder

An Update from Our Founder

Swipe Out Hunger Announces New Executive Director Jaime Hansen

Swipe Out Hunger Announces New Executive Director Jaime Hansen

Building a Movement: Pennsylvania Students Advocate for Food Security

Building a Movement: Pennsylvania Students Advocate for Food Security

Celebrating the Success of Former Foster Youth

Celebrating the Success of Former Foster Youth

College Campus Food Pantries: Learnings from a 2021 Survey

College Campus Food Pantries: Learnings from a 2021 Survey

5 Things To Know About The Campus Pantry and College Hunger Landscape

5 Things To Know About The Campus Pantry and College Hunger Landscape

Swipe Out Hunger and TOP The Organic Project Partner to Support College Students

Swipe Out Hunger and TOP The Organic Project Partner to Support College Students

2022 – 2024 Strategic Plan

2022 – 2024 Strategic Plan

Swipe Out Hunger Announces Microgrants to 17 Campus Pantries

Swipe Out Hunger Announces Microgrants to 17 Campus Pantries

Win a Case of Tampons for Your Campus Pantry!

Win a Case of Tampons for Your Campus Pantry!

Chobani and Swipe Out Hunger Partner to Help College Students Experiencing Food Insecurity on 23 Campuses

Chobani and Swipe Out Hunger Partner to Help College Students Experiencing Food Insecurity on 23 Campuses

Swipe Out Hunger Acquires the College and University Food Bank Alliance

Swipe Out Hunger Acquires the College and University Food Bank Alliance

Transact Partners with Swipe Out Hunger to Address College Student Food Insecurity

Transact Partners with Swipe Out Hunger to Address College Student Food Insecurity

Gov. Murphy Signs New Jersey Hunger-Free Campus Act

Gov. Murphy Signs New Jersey Hunger-Free Campus Act

New Survey Reveals One-Third of College Students Have Missed a Meal at Least Once a Week Since The Pandemic

New Survey Reveals One-Third of College Students Have Missed a Meal at Least Once a Week Since The Pandemic

Comments

Comments for this post are closed