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NDSU launches program to reduce food insecurity among students

The NDSU Campus Food Insecurity Task Force has partnered with a successful national program to address food needs of students on campus.

Swipe Out Hunger is designed for students experiencing temporary food shortages. It allows for dining center meals to be added directly to student ID cards. Students can use the meals at any of the three NDSU dining centers by simply swiping their card at the front counter. The program provides an opportunity for quick response to food needs while protecting the privacy and dignity of the recipient.

“I came across the Swipe Out Hunger Program from my own research on food insecurity among college students,” said Meghan Yerhot, developmental science doctoral student and co-chair of the NDSU Campus Food Insecurity Task Force. “The ease of this program and privacy allows for students to seek help without having to feel the burden of stigma.”

Funding for the NDSU program comes from a variety of generous donors, including faculty and staff through the NDSU Food Security Fund. Donations can be made either by payroll deduction or a one-time gift.

A fund challenge grant also was created to match funds up to $2,000.

“University students have enough to stress about; they should not have to worry about where their next meal will come from,” said Tim and Claudette Peterson, fund challenge grant donors and current and retired faculty members at NDSU. “In K-12 schools, breakfast and lunch programs exist because research shows students perform better when they have adequate nutrition. We believe this is also true for older learners. That is why we are contributing to this effort to ease food insecurity for NDSU students.”

The Swipe Out Hunger program is the first of several steps planned by NDSU’s Food Insecurity Task Force to more fully address food insecurity on campus. In a recent survey, one in three NDSU students reported they had experienced food insecurity.

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North Dakota State University
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