For many low-income students, having reliable access to food can be a challenge.
According to a study conducted by the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice, one in three college students in the nation face food insecurity.
The Student Government Association has launched the Swipe Out Hunger program to help students on campus who are struggling with food insecurity.
The program is funded in partnership with Aramark. Students who face food insecurity will be able to apply online and will receive free meal swipes if they qualify.
L’Oreal Williams, president of SGA, elaborated on how the program will function.
“It is a two-part program. We have the meal swipe donation portion that is ongoing, so students are currently able to donate meal swipes to other students and students are able to apply right now to receive the donated meal swipes. So, you have those two aspects going on and everything will be distributed out to students no later than March 8. Applications and donations are due by Feb. 28,” said Williams.
Williams also went into detail regarding the partnership between SGA and Aramark.
“Aramark is donating meal swipes as well. Aramark is giving students an opportunity to donate as well because some students do not use all of their meal swipes and that is a way to get more meals out to other students who are in need,” she explained.
SGA has also partnered with the GET App so that students can donate meal swipes through the app. Williams explained how students can donate meal swipes.
“There is a button once you sign into the app where you can donate meal swipes. If you have a Cub meal plan or a Gold meal plan, you are able to donate up to two meal swipes,” she mentioned.
Williams explained why she felt that implementing this program was necessary.
“This program is something that was under my initiative for SGA President. You might not see it on the outside, but a lot of people are facing insecurity. Through things like this program, it will help students and give them a secure way to get funding and meal swipes without having to put themselves completely out there. They can get these meals in an anonymous way,” said Williams.
According to Williams, Food security is having the ability to afford and obtain nutritious food on a regular basis.
The struggles of food insecurity can manifest in a variety of ways.
“Food insecurity can take any shape or form. Someone might lose a couple of hours so they aren’t getting as much money, so they have to decide if they want to put gas in their car or eat their next meal,” she explained.
Williams plans to implement this program long term and hopes SGA will hold this initiative every semester. To apply for this program, visit the SGA’s tab on the University’s website. Links to the form can also be found on the linktree on SGA’s Instagram page.