The University’s partnership with a nationwide program to aid students struggling with food insecurity has raised more than $9,000 since its founding in 2020.
GW teamed up with Swipe Out Hunger in November 2020, allowing students, staff and faculty to donate the remainder of their GWorld balances to other students through The Store and the Abrahms Family Fund, which provides emergency Colonial Cash to students. The fundraising total marks a $6,000 jump in donations in less than a year since about 150 students helped raise $3,000 through the program last March.
University spokesperson Crystal Nosal said community members participating in the cause can donate their funds using the GET app, and the money is split evenly between the Abrahms Family Fund and The Store, which was operational through the previous academic year. She said the funds donated through the Swipe Out Hunger program have helped The Store purchase produce, meats, gluten-free, vegetarian food and dairy products.
Nosal said the University will update the program during the next academic year so students can donate meal swipes each semester.
“We highly encourage any students who have remaining balances at the end of the semester to consider making a donation,” Nosal said in an email.
Sua Cho Jung, a junior majoring in international affairs and Spanish and the president of The Store, said the number of students who use The Store typically increases as students start to run low on dining funds as the semester wears on. She said The Store does its best to stay stocked year-round for students, but supply chain shortages have caused some stocking issues during the pandemic.
“It’s always a nice circle of students giving back to students in a way, and I think that’s one of the most important aspects of it,” she said. “And that’s what makes it so special.”
She said the program is necessary because of the divide between students who struggle to afford food and those who don’t typically grapple with food insecurity. She said even a small amount of money that students can donate will raise funding for The Store and aid those students who are in need of direct funds.
“I feel like on campus we see a lot of both people that tend to have more GWorld money leftover, and then we tend to have another group that finds it a little more difficult to get by and to have enough funds to get by during the semesters,” she said. “So I think personally, it’s such a great program and idea that we have implemented in our school and our operations.”