The University of Connecticut held its latest "Give a Meal" event on its Storrs campus March 2, and saw a significant number of students donate their flex passes during the dinner hour event.
As reported by student publication, The Daily Campus, some 3,317 UConn students participated in the meal drive, which was held at the dining facility. In addition to the donated meals, university Dining Services partnered with the UConn’s Community Outreach program to collect donations for a number of local organizations including food pantries, homeless shelters and soup kitchens.
The donation process was made seamless for students, as they were asked by staff members at the time of swiping into the dining facility if they would like to also donate a flex pass. A seemingly common sentiment among those students that donated was that a number of flex passes are typically left over at the end of each semester and students would rather see them donated and put to good use than simply expire.
The number of swipes donated during the March event represented a .5% decrease in donated swipes compared to the event held at the same time last spring, the proceeds do, however, mark a 14% increase over the spring of 2015. The 3,317 swipes donated during the spring event join the 1,960 swipes that were donated in the fall 2016 event.
Specific figures aside, UConn Dining Services says that the number of donations generated during the recent event is around the average amount that the event tends to yield. One caveat to the donation program is that students are limited to donating only a single flex pass each. Dining Services limits donations to a single meal because dining services itself is limited to how it they can donate as the donations come from department revenue.
The amount donated is determined based on the raw food cost for a meal, which equates to approximately $2.50 per swipe. UConn dining services uses the swipe to determine how much it will donate based on the raw food cost.
UConn Dining Services has been running the "Give a Meal" program since 1987 and the university's Community Outreach has been participating since 2012.