Today Temple University students have access to new support for their basic needs, as a Swipe Out Hunger pilot program opens on campus.  Swipes for Philadelphia will provide 1,000 emergency meals for food-insecure students during the 2019-2020 academic school year.

The Temple pilot is the brainchild of AaronRey EbreoDirector of Student Basic Needs for Temple Student Government and a pre-med student in Temple’s Class of 2020. He first began working to establish a Swipes program at Temple in 2016 when, in his first year of college, he started using his extra meal swipes to cut down on wasted food and help feed his homeless neighbors.  His efforts gained additional support when the Hope Center conducted the #RealCollege survey at Temple in 2017, and learned that 35% of all undergraduate students surveyed were food insecure. Soon thereafter, Temple convened a task force to address campus food insecurity and opened a campus food pantry.  The Hope Center’s founder, Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab, serves on the task force and has urged university leaders to act proactively to support students.

Swipes for Philadelphia meets students where they are, helping them afford to dine with their peers. A national nonprofit, Swipe Out Hunger’s model is being implemented on dozens of campuses around the country, and the Hope Center is leading a rigorous program evaluation.

The Temple pilot is a welcome development.  “The current Temple Student Government (TSG) administration cares deeply for their fellow students to the point that they worked with Aramark in order for Aramark to donate 1,000 meals to students facing food insecurity.  We will be able to distribute these meals throughout the semester to students in need.  The meals will be placed directly onto students’ Owl Cards and are able to be used at both of the all-you-care-to-eat facilities on Temple’s campus.  TSG has been a great supporter of their fellow students!” said Rachael Stark, Senior Associate Dean of Students of Temple University’s Division of Student Affairs.

Temple students who need emergency meals should fill out this form and meet with a case manager in the Dean of Students Office. The meals will be accessible in the Morgan Hall Dining Center and the Esposito Dining Center in Johnson and Hardwick Hall.

Check out full coverage in the Philadelphia Inquirer.