Best practices on how and when to collect meal swipes.

Donation Methods (in order of preference)

  • Online

    Use an online form for students to submit their information if they would like to donate. This form can be integrated into the campus’s preexisting online dining portal that students already use to track their meal balances.

    UC Merced

    iCare is an online portal students use to donate or request meal swipes.

  • Swipe Machine / Cash Registers

    The dining hall and campus grocery store staff invite students to donate at the cash registers (also known as point of sales) and then withdraw these meal funds for donations through the dining system. Students can also borrow swipe machines from dining to use during Swipes Drives while tabling.

    University of Missouri-Kansas City

    At the UMKC Dining Center cash registers, students can donate meal swipes that will then be distributed via meal passes through the Kangaroo Food Pantry.

  • On Paper

    Set up tables outside the dining halls to invite students passing by to donate their extra meal swipes. Have them give their student information and signature on a list. Afterward, submit the list to the dining services staff who will deduct the designated donations from each student’s meal plan balance.

Donation Frequency Models

  • Designated Swipe Drives

    Students donate meal swipes only during specific, pre-determined dates throughout the school year. Campuses often host Swipe Drives during the annual Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week in November, on Earth Day in April, or at the end of each academic term.

  • Continuous / Year-round Donations

    Alternatively, students can donate meal swipes year-round. Campuses often launch school-wide campaigns during popular events, like Open House, to collect many donations during the beginning of the academic term. Constant online and physical advertising of the program (through social media and campus newsletters) is done to continue soliciting donations year-round.