What is $4 to Houston Market? A box of pita bread and hummus? A cup of pudding? For most of the 31 percent of Philadelphia residents on SNAP benefits (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), $4 is the amount they receive to spend on food for the entire day. As the fall semester dwindles to a close, Penn freshmen will check Campus Express in dismay, realizing they still have a heavy load of swipes to plow through when they rather eat at sweetgreen and Hummus Grill. As one freshman to another, I urge you to make the most of your remaining swipes by donating them to Penn’s student group, Swipe out Hunger.
As an inevitably broke and time-strapped college students, it can feel difficult to find meaningful ways to give back; this is our chance. Through Swipe out Hunger, we can convert swipes into monetary donations for those that need it most. The donations go towards Philabundance, the largest hunger relief organization in the region, serving about 90,000 people a week from Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Children make up 30 percent of these recipients and senior citizens account for another 15. While we may not always appreciate swiping into Commons or Hill, those receiving our donations now have one less day they have to worry about going hungry.
We all had to get a dining plan this first year, so don’t let it go to waste. Leftover swipes expire at the end of the semester. Though you can convert a swipe into $4.87 worth of Dining Dollar$, for nearly the same rate ($4 per swipe) you can donate to Philabundance. Think about it. What has more value? The $4.87 that doesn’t even cover a salad at Frontera? Or the $4 that covers a person’s daily food intake on SNAP?
Whether you have scores of swipes left or just enough to make it to finals, we are not asking you to donate all you have. Just two swipes can impact two peoples’ struggles in poverty. So swing by McClelland in the Quad this Friday, Nov. 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to make a difference. Trust me, the difference will taste better than a $4 pudding.