A new meal donation initiative has commenced at Vanderbilt University offering students the option to donate meal swipes to students in need. The program is enabling those grappling with food insecurity to apply for and receive up to five meals per week through the university’s dining services and financial aid departments.
As reported by the Vanderbilt Hustler, students can donate up to five guest swipes per semester. Those applying to receive the donated swipes can do so on the Campus Dining website. Those applications are then sent to Vanderbilt’s financial aid office where each student’s eligibility is determined based on their demonstrated need.
Students can apply at the end of each month, with all donated swipes being added directly to their Commodore Card — Vanderbilt’s student ID card.
Vanderbilt is partnering on the meal swipe donation program with Swipe Out Hunger, a group of student leaders at American universities who work together to devise proposals for the meal swipe programs.
The program at Vanderbilt lets students receive swipes anonymously, requiring just an active Commodore Card to receive a donated meal. This formula seems to be increasingly favored on campuses over other, more traditional solutions like food banks or separate meal cards, as it provides more discretion for the program recipients.
Student meal swipe donations joins Vanderbilt’s other food donation initiative, Share-A-Side. This program differs from the meal swipe donation program, as it allows students to donate a side item to Nashville’s Second Harvest Food Bank, or instead devote the donation to a relief cause in response to natural disasters. Unlike the meal swipe donation program, the Share-A-Side program is a year-round initiative.