Mercyhurst University is the latest campus to join the student food insecurity non-profit, Swipe Out Hunger. Spearheading the initiative at Mercyhurst, is a partnership between the university's Community Engagement and OneCard offices alongside food-service provider Parkhurst Dining.
According to an official university release, the joint effort will enable students and employees with extra meal swipes on their dining cards to donate them to fellow peers in need. Statistics released by the non-profit suggest that as many as “one in three college students face food insecurity nationally."
Since it's launch, the Mercyhurst initiative has received nearly 1,400 donated meal swipes, which are then made available confidentially to students in need when they return to the Erie, Penn. campus on January 25.
Mercyhurst’s Swipe Out Hunger initiative was initially put forward by John Patterson, director of protective services and the OneCard office. It was Patterson who installed the internal software and created the means for students to use CBORD's GET app to donate meal swipes in a more convenient fashion.
Over the last 10 years, Swipe Out Hunger has scaled its operation and other anti-hunger programs to more than 120 colleges across 39 states.
“We're so excited to hear about the great success of the inaugural campaign kickoff and are looking forward to the distribution of these meals to those who need them," says Emily Kass, community engagement manager for Swipe Out Hunger. "Our sincerest gratitude to the whole Mercyhurst community for partnering with us here at Swipe Out Hunger in an effort to end college student hunger."