TWU to implement national program addressing student hunger
Sept. 9, 2021 — DENTON — Texas Woman’s University has partnered with Rachel Sumekh to bring Swipe Out Hunger, the leading nonprofit organization addressing hunger among college students, to the Denton campus.
Sumekh, who testified at the first ever congressional hearing about ending college student hunger this past week, first spoke to TWU students in March. She described her journey in the development of Swipe Out Hunger while an undergrad at UCLA and held a workshop to help TWU students explore starting a similar program at TWU.
That initial introduction garnered wide-spread interest, and now TWU is committed to piloting its own version of the program, Swipe It Forward, this fall.
When asked about how interest in the program came about, Michelle Reeves, director of the Health and Wellbeing Initiative said that it was a collaborative effort between HWI’s Eat Well team, the Campus Alliance for Resource Education (CARE), Housing and Dining.
“We recognized that many students on our campuses consistently deal with food insecurity and felt that this effort could be an integral part of our layered strategy to address those issues at TWU,” said Reeves. “Not only does national research support the need, but also our own research indicates that students are hungry.”
Nationally, 1 in 3 college students face food insecurity, which negatively impacts their ability to focus in class, stay in school, and feel part of the campus community. Additionally, according to recent research published by TWU faculty and students, 34.5 percent of students experienced heightened food insecurity during the early part of the pandemic.
Swipe it Forward will allow students to donate meal swipes to peers facing food insecurity using the GET app. Only students participating in the 10-Meal, 15-Meal, Block 100 or Commuter 40 meal plans will be eligible to donate during the pilot period.
Donations will be accepted during two Swipe It Forward campaign cycles, Sept. 10-Oct. 1 and Nov. 15-19. Students may donate a maximum of two meal swipes during each campaign (maximum of four during the pilot period), and donated meal swipes will be immediately removed from meal plans.
Eligibility criteria is still being solidified, but students interested in learning more about qualifying for the program should contact the CARE Office. Food assistance is slated to begin in October.
Any student interested in participating in TWU’s efforts to address food insecurity should plan to attend one of the interest meetings scheduled for Sept. 14 and Sept. 15 to learn about the new Swipe Out Hunger student organization. Students would first work to raise awareness and increase donations for TWU’s Swipe It Forward campaigns during the pilot period and continue the important work of combating student hunger.
Swipe It Forward is one part of TWU’s commitment to reducing student hunger. Other efforts include Minerva’s Market, the Mobile Food Pantry and Social Work Food Pantry.
Page last updated 9:58 AM, September 10, 2021