Students will be able to donate and request swipes after winter break.
Dining Services is working with senior Farid Freyha and the Swipe Out Hunger non-profit to implement a system that allows students to donate up to 10 swipes a term and request up to five swipes a week.
Swipe Out Hunger looks to help address food insecurity and hunger on campuses. The systems they help set up vary from college to college, and they currently are involved in over 90 colleges, according to their website.
In 2018, a survey by the Student Life Committee found 45.3% of student respondents had experienced food insecurity while at Knox.
Since then Senate, with help from APA, started the food pantry now located in the former Office of Sustainability. Bon Appetit General Manager Doug Stenfeldt and Freyha presented to Senate on Nov. 14 about the new program. Freyha started leading in the project last year when he was in Senate.
The current system will have a spreadsheet to keep track of the swipes donated and the swipes used. It is a manual system to go from the Google forms to the spreadsheet, meaning the spreadsheet will only be updated during the Dining Services Office’s business hours. They are open to moving to an automated model if one can be worked out, however.
The number of swipes that can be donated or received may also change based on how the program goes. This only takes changing some of the settings in the Google, forms so, the numbers are flexible.
Initially, off-board students will not be able to receive swipes, but Stenfeldt is open to changing that in the future. While they would like to include off-board students, they want to see how many swipes are being donated and if it would be sustainable.
“If we find out that we get a ton of donations and we can sustain the off-board students, then we’ll change, and we can change all that stuff on the fly very easily,” Stenfeldt said.
Students will still be able to donate up to 10 swipes to Blessings in a Backpack. The Blessings swipes are taken as needed, working down the spreadsheet, so Dining Services can skip students who are running low on swipes by the end of the term. The new donated swipes will be taken off cards when the forms are processed.
“As it turns out, the logistics are really easy for us,” Stenfeldt said. “The only pieces that we have left right now are we’re working on the communication piece and the marketing piece.”