IC Students to Swipe Out Hunger

By Austin Reid, August 15, 2018
Student brings national food insecurity program to campus.
Swiping a credit card through a point of sale machine
(Photo by Zurijeta)

Ithaca College students will soon be able to fight hunger among their peers with just the swipe of a card. Beginning this fall, students with a college meal plan will have the option to anonymously donate one of their allotted guest passes to fellow students facing food insecurity.

The initiative is being undertaken in collaboration with Swipe Out Hunger, an organization that partners with colleges to end student hunger. The group works with 46 colleges across the country and its campus programs have provided over 1.4 million meals to date.  

Under the program, IC students can donate one guest pass per semester to a “bank” created by the Office of Student Financial Services. Those passes will then be provided to students in need, who can access them using their student ID card.

The program will begin with a yearlong trial phase, during which Student Financial Services will collect data, including the number of passes donated and the number used, in order to assess its effectiveness.

“I’m thrilled with the collaborative efforts between students and staff to launch the Swipe Out Hunger program. This is a huge step toward supporting our community.”

Jeff Scott, general manager of Dining Services

Bringing Swipe Out Hunger to IC was the idea of Unagh Frank ’20, a Hillel at IC engagement intern who researched food insecurity for a course on cultural competence development for helping professions during her sophomore year. She remained interested in the issue after finishing the class. “I started doing more research about hunger on college campuses specifically, and realized it was an issue that no one talked about but many were secretly struggling with,” said Frank.

Joined by a team of students and with the help of Hillel at IC executive director Lauren Goldberg, Frank worked with Ithaca College Dining Services, Student Financial Services and the ID Office to set up the Swipe Out Hunger trial. 

“I’m thrilled with the collaborative efforts between students and staff to launch the Swipe Out Hunger program,” said Jeff Scott, general manager of Dining Services. “This is a huge step toward supporting our community.”

Students who wish to participate in Swipe Out Hunger will be able to sign up to donate one of their fall semester guest passes at a solicitation table in the Campus Center from August 29 to September 19. Those interested in receiving donated passes should contact Student Financial Services at sfs@ithaca.edu. Students do not need to have an IC meal plan in order to receive donated passes, and only Student Financial Services and the ID Office will know their identities.

For more information

If you would like more information on how to become involved in Swipe Out Hunger, contact Unagh Frank.