Loyola University New Orleans and Sodexo have partnered to launch a Swipe Out Hunger initiative for the Loyola campus community. Swipe Out Hunger, a popular meal-donation program on campuses across the country, enables students to donate meal swipes from their dining plans to a campus swipe bank to be used by students in need.
As reported by Loyola's student publication, The Maroon, meal swipes donated through the Swipe Out Hunger program are made available to students who report experiencing food insecurity. Swipe Out Hunger has grown in recent years to become one of the leading nonprofits facing the student food insecurity challenge.
At Loyola, Swipe Out Hunger matched the amount of meal plans purchased at the university, as well as provided 1,300 meals for students during the fall semester.
According to figures cited by Sodexo, college campuses saw a 14% increase in food insecurity following the arrival of the pandemic. "With college students struggling to find stable access to food, programs like Swipe Out Hunger are becoming increasingly important," says Charles Casrill, Sodexo Manager.
Swipe Out Hunger's history dates back to 2010, but the major growth occurred in 2019 when the group was able to launch initiatives on 12 college campuses. In the time since, Swipe Out Hunger has provided an estimated 2.5 million meals to college students across the country.
“Students should not have to choose between school and food, and they should not have to choose a bag of chips over a nourishing, well-rounded meal that can help them succeed,” says Emily Kass, Swipe Out Hunger community engagement manager.
To participate, students first fill out a form on Loyola’s website, followed by a meeting with Loyola Student Affairs to assess each student's situation and help determine the number of meals needed.
At the onset of the program donated meals were loaded onto a separate meal card that students received anonymously. Going forward the meal swipes will be loaded directly onto student ID cards to help further ensure anonymity.