The Timeline



  • A few friends at UCLA find themselves with extra meal swipes on their dining plan. They go into the Dining Hall and buy a few dozen meals to-go. They head off campus and begin handing them out to homeless individuals. 
  • They call themselves "Swipes for the Homeless" and set up a table outside a dining hall where they ask other students to also purchase meals.
  • That year, we handed out 300 meals. 


  • Swipes for the Homeless pioneer Bryan Pezeshki registers them as an official UCLA student group. 
  • LA Times covers the group's work, Hope for Hungry Students.
  • That year, the group handed out its 8,912th meal. 


  • The organization doubles in size at UCLA and becomes one of the most talked about groups on campus.
  • Swipes wins the Rishwain Social Entrepreneurship Award 
  • That year, the group handed out its 75,384th meal


  • Swipes is invited to The White House and named a "Champion of Change"
  • Swipes is named the Nations Most Innovative Student group by The Classy Awards. 
  • Chapters are established at  University of Southern California (USC), UC San Diego and the University of Texas. 
  • The launch of our "Meal Voucher Program" funded by donated Swipes ushered a new way to address hunger on campus. 
  • That year, the group handed out its 300,634th meal. 


  • In September, Swipes hires co-founder Rachel Sumekh as its first staff person and CEO. 
  • Swipes welcomes the UC Santa Barbara, Northwestern and 3 other schools to its network. 
  • That year, the group handed out 600,795 meals. 


  • Swipes wins 3/5 awards at the LA Social Venture Partners Fast Pitch Competition. 
  • Swipes welcomes Pepperdine, University of Albany and a handful of other schools. 
  • That year, the group handed out its 1,026,384th meal.


  • Swipes is invited to the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Philadelphia. 
  • University of Wisconsin and 5 other chapters are welcomed to the network. 
  • In August, Ilana Lerman is brought on as COO and second staff person. 
  • That year, the group handed out its 1,206,145th meal. 


  • Swipes strategically shifts focus to campus hunger after 6 years in the space. 
  • The University of California system commissions Swipe Out Hunger to launch on all 9 of its campuses. 
  • Swipe Out Hunger is featured twice in the New York Times
  • That year, the group handed out its 1,346,267th meal. 

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