Penn Students Help Fight Local Hunger

Thanks to a creative collaboration, students at the University of Pennsylvania presented a check for $7,291.25 to the local hunger relief organization Philabundance, on May 1.

This spring, members of the student-run organization Swipe Out Hunger worked with Penn Dining and the University’s food service provider, Bon Appetit Management Company, to donate the cost of unused meals from their meal plans. For every one of the 1,535 swipes of unused meals donated by students, Bon Appetít gave $4.75 to Philabundance.

“It was a pleasure working with Swipe Out Hunger because they were willing to be flexible and create an program that fit well within our operations while at the same time achieving, in fact surpassing, their goals,” said Pam Lampitt, director of Business Services, which oversees Penn Dining. “When students approach us with a project that is well designed and executed and supports the University’s Compact 2020, it is a win for everyone – the students, dining and the local community.”

Sophomores Jessie Abrams and Liza Lansing established the Penn chapter of Swipe Out Hunger last fall.

“While we know there are a significant number of students who use up all of their meal swipes, we also know some  people were in similar situations as we were freshman year and were frustrated by the amount of swipes  they had not used,” said Lansing, a communications major from Chicago. “It was very rewarding for us engage a large amount of Penn students and to see the smiles on their faces after they completed a small act of kindness.”

“Amidst everyone's exams and crazy schedules, people still took the time to come and donate,” says Abrams, a philosophy, politics and economics major also from Chicago. “Hunger is clearly an important issue to the student body, and we have big plans about how we will grow and improve Swipes in the coming semesters.”

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