More meal swipe donation drives planned following trial run

The Office of Student Success plans to host another meal swipe donation drive in the spring semester following a trial run last week.

Students with meal plans donated their guest swipes at the tap machines by the Boylston entrance of the Dining Center from Sept. 10-14. To use the donated swipes, students apply through the Student Application Fund. This service helps students in need receive financial support by purchasing textbooks and covering transportation costs. Those who receive donated meal swipes through the program can use them as any student would, in the Dining Center or at the Max Grill.

A week was allotted for the first meal swipe donation drive to figure out the logistics and see the demand for swipes, according to Director of Retention and Student Success Chris Daly. If the need arises, there might be another donation period this semester, Daly said.

The swipes donation drive is a new extension of the on-campus food pantry, which started last year. Other schools in Boston that have food pantry services, such as Tufts and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, inspired Emerson’s program, Daly said.

Graduate student Fabiane Best uses the Student Access Fund to buy books. But getting food has been a major struggle for her as she continues her education.

She was relieved to find that the college reached out to help students like her when she discovered the student food pantry last year, but it only went so far. She said she typically eats cheap and unhealthy food from convenience stores, and that the healthy options in the dining hall are significantly better than her usual meals.  

“If someone more privileged could give me a swipe a week, that would be great,” Best said. “It goes a long way.”

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