Combatting food insecurity with Swipe Out Hunger


Courtesy of CWRU

In an effort to combat foot insecurity on campus, USG’s subcommittee Swipe Out Hunger takes meal swipe donations and turns them into meal vouchers that work at both Fribley and Leutner Commons.

Darcy Chew, Staff Writer

From Sept. 12-15, Undergraduate Student Government (USG)’s subcommittee Swipe Out Hunger ran a swipe drive collecting meal swipes to combat food insecurity on campus. Now, those meal swipes can be redeemed by students through a form sent in USG’s Nov. 8 newsletter. 

The program is headed by third-years Eric Elizes, Shayan Burns, Varun Samudra and Deven Desai who have been working on this project since their freshman year. Elizes, as the committee chair, says it was initially difficult to get the program off the ground. “At that point in time, it was during the COVID-19 semesters…the university was in a very fiscally tight situation,” he explained. However, with a clear vision, Elizes says he spent this past summer having conversations with administrators to bring his ideas for the program to life. 

Swipe Out Hunger works with the Dean of Students Office and Auxiliary Services, with the latter setting up the kiosks that are used to collect swipes. After they obtain a certain number of meal swipes from student donations, Swipe Out Hunger then turns to the Dean of Students Office who is in charge of distributing the swipes to the students who apply for them. 

Currently, there are no set criteria for who can receive these meal swipes; in Elizes’ words, “the form is fairly open ended” and each student’s situation is determined on a case-by-case basis. After a student fills out the form, it will be sent to an admin at the Dean of Students Office who reviews the applications to determine who will receive swipes. Students are currently able to request meal swipes three times each semester. If their request is approved, students will be notified within 48 hours of their application. 

In their September swipe drive, Elizes was pleasantly surprised with the almost 800 swipe donations they received. All meal swipes are virtually loaded onto a student’s Case ID, but Swipe Out Hunger turns these virtual donations into physical vouchers that can be used at the dining halls. Both Fribley and Leutner Commons accept these vouchers. 

When asked about his future plans for Swipe Out Hunger, Elizes says that his current focus is to increase awareness. They are still in the process of distributing the 800 donations received in September. Elizes is hopeful of the program’s future, adding that “there are definitely a lot of students who would benefit from [it].” 

If you are interested in applying for meal swipes, the Swipe Out Hunger Application is quick to fill out and can be found at the top of the Swipe Out Hunger CampusGroups page. For any questions about the organization or if you would like to become involved, contact 11