Southeastern is the first university in the state to partner with Swipe Out Hunger, in order to provide free meal swipes to students in need.
The new program, which was spearheaded by Student Government Association president L’Oreal Williams, went live on Feb. 2. The honor based system enables students with excess meal swipes to help those in need by making a meal swipe donation. As a result, other students will be able to apply through the SGA website to use those swipes.
Brandi Stevens, a senior kinesiology major, has already signed up to receive free meal swipes. She elaborated on how the program works.
“If you are a student and you have the cub cash plan or the gold meal plan, you can give to another student who doesn’t have a meal plan at all,” Stevens said. “Most of the time some students have hundreds of meals left that they can’t do anything with because it doesn’t roll over to the next semester, so this way you can donate your meals to someone who can actually use them and it won’t go to waste.”
Students with excess meal swipes donate by downloading the GET App, signing in, and clicking ‘donate now.’ Currently, Stevens says that more students have been donating swipes than applying for aid.
“I know about five or six other people that have signed up for the program, but they still have a lot more spots for it,” Stevens said. “I don’t think people really understand what it is, exactly. They actually have more people donating to the meals than people that are signing up to receive the meals.”
Stevens explained her own experience applying for meal swipes through the SGA website.
“It was very brief,” she said. “It was only two questions, and then you answer your need for the meal, and I put that I was unemployed and that I was a Southeastern student but a commuter, and you literally get approved a few days later. It’s a very simple process. Two questions, and then one short response and you’re done.”
The review process for such applications is done anonymously, according to SGA president L’Oreal Williams.
“The application will be reviewed by top SGA members,” Williams said. “So myself, as well as two other cabinet members. Everyone’s names will be redacted from that information. So we’re just reviewing the actual statements that people are making. Nobody’s names will come into the conversation at all. It’s just based on what you need.”
Since launching the Meal Swipe program was part of William’s campaign to presidency last year, getting it accomplished has been a meaningful experience.
“I felt like I did what I said I was coming to do,” Williams said. “That was one thing that I was really passionate about when I was running, and I did it.”
Kaysha Joseph, William’s executive assistant, is glad about what the Meal Swipe program represents.
“This is such a big thing for L’Oreal, such a big thing for Southeastern in general and the state of Louisiana,” Joseph said. “I know that this probably won’t be the last time that this program will be implemented because it’s such a great program. I’m just so excited that Southeastern can be a trailblazer in this state and implement such a great thing.”