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CBORD partners with Swipe Out Hunger to support meal donations

Students can use GET CBORD Student app to donate unused meal swipes to peers

Andrew Hudson   ||   Oct 31, 2019  ||   , ,

CBORD has announced a partnership with Swipe Out Hunger, a national nonprofit organization working to end college student hunger. The pairing will offer students on CBORD campuses the option to donate meal swipes via the GET CBORD Student mobile app.

Swipe Out Hunger works with colleges and universities across the country in developing sustainable meal donation programs. CBORD will serve as the technology partner, enabling students to donate unused meals from their meal plan to peers experiencing food insecurity on campus from the mobile app.

CBORD’s partnership with Swipe Out Hunger will eliminate the logistical challenges typically associated with similar meal donation initiatives by building on GET’s direct integration with a university’s CBORD campus card system.

Fully integrated meal donation functionality will be released in the GET app this fall semester.

Once students donate meals through the mobile app, donations will be pooled and distributed through each campus card system. Swipe Out Hunger will work directly with those on the ground at CBORD-affiliated institutions to develop thoughtful and accessible programs unique to each campus. Swipe Out Hunger will also advise colleges on best practices as it relates to eligibility and distribution of meal swipes to students experiencing food insecurity.

How meal donations via GET works

“Our CBORD customers today have already been accomplishing meal donation via homegrown solutions or via the ordering option in the GET CBORD Student application,” says Rob Wakelee, product owner for GET CBORD Student. “With the redesigned application releasing in late December of 2019, users will have a front and center selection, if their school is opting to incorporate this feature, to clearly display a meal donation option to students.”

CBORD’s cashless system solutions offer complete flexibility for institutions wanting to customize their meal plan programs as necessary.

“With the donation option presented in the GET app, it can be configured to automatically put these swipes to a separate account or pool of funds,” explains Wakelee. “The initial rollout of this feature to the platform will be for the ability for users to donate with later improvements to the program to add support for a request option.”

The GET platform is available to both CS Gold and Odyssey PCS institutions and the meal donation option is no different.

“Any CBORD cashless system institution with a GET platform license can have the donation option turned on at no charge with a call to the help desk,” says Wakelee. “A separate cashless system terminal/location is configured to track meal donations separately from other platform features. This means the donation option can then be enabled or disabled by the institution as needed via the GET admin website.”

Making a difference

It’s been estimated that as many as one-in-three students experiences food insecurity on college campuses today. Swipe Out Hunger is a nonprofit organization that partners with colleges and universities to provide financially and logistically efficient anti-hunger programs.

The organization’s flagship program, “The Swipe Drive,” allows students to donate leftover meal plan swipes to their peers in need.

Swipe Out Hunger’s philosophy is that food should not be a revenue source on a campus where students are going hungry.

“This partnership with CBORD will eliminate a logistical challenge, helping students donate their extra dining hall swipes through this built-in technology solution,” says Rachel Sumekh, CEO and founder of Swipe Out Hunger. “With this function being readily available to students, CBORD is helping campuses implement technology solutions and normalize the practice of adopting programs that support student's basic needs.”

Since being formed as a grassroots movement at UCLA in 2010, the organization has since served 1.7 million meals across 32 states and more than 80 college campuses.

“Swipe Out Hunger’s philosophy is that food should not be a revenue source on a campus where students are going hungry,” says Sumekh.

“We’re trying to create a model that meets student needs. The financial model of higher education is broken, and it’s a shame that we leave it up to dining services to be profitable,” adds Sumekh. “Change only happens if someone steps up and does something unreasonable.”

The Swipe Out Hunger model varies from campus to campus across its 85-partner network depending on the institution. CBORD-affiliated campuses with the GET platform will now be better positioned to easily launch meal donation programs on campus.

“We believe we have a responsibility as a leading corporation to be bigger than just the bottom line,” says Jeff Wood, vice president of marketing and product at CBORD. “Social responsibility isn’t just a marketing buzzword but a part of our culture.”

“Working with Swipe Out Hunger is an ideal partnership because both organizations have the chance to draw upon their core competencies,” Wood adds. “In CBORD’s case that’s technology, and in Swipe Out Hunger’s case it’s volunteerism and activism. Together we can make substantive progress in the important social issue of student food insecurity.”

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