A new pilot program at the University of Missouri is enabling students to transfer unused meal swipes to fellow students in need of a meal.
According to the Columbia Daily Tribune, the new program allows students to transfer up to ten swipes from their meal plan and transfer them to other students. The initiative is working with the university’s Tiger Pantry, a food pantry that serves Mizzou students and employees.
Missouri dining services has stated that students living off campus and those that don’t have a meal plan will likely be the primary beneficiaries of the program. The program will be piloted throughout the remainder of the spring semester after which dining services will determine whether there is enough need to continue the program.
The initiative comes, in part, as a response to a growing number of college students feeling the financial burden of full-time student status. The director of the university’s Tiger Pantry, stresses that some students don’t know where their next meal will come from and that the overall success of the new program will ultimately depend on the number of students donating meal swipes and the number of students who sign up to receive them.
The Tiger Pantry is also imploring students to donate their meal swipes throughout the course of the semester as extra meals become available, rather than donating all 10 of the allotted swipes at the end of the semester to ensure that enough are available and the pantry has sufficient time to issue them to students.
Students who want to transfer meal swipes can do so online by clicking on the “Swipes Program” tab on the Tiger Pantry website and, after providing account information, select the number of meals to transfer.
Students using the Tiger Pantry service must fill out a form in order to receive the donated meals. Once completed, transferred meal swipes will be loaded onto the student’s account to be used at any university dining location. Students using the donated swipes will be able to hand their ID to cashiers in the same fashion as every other student so as to avoid anyone knowing whether the meal swipe came from the donation program.
Any student client of Tiger Pantry can be a recipient of the donated meal swipes. Students in need may visit the Pantry once per week for meal swipes, with the number of meals the pantry is able to provide being dependent on the volume of donated swipes.