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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Swipe Out Hunger

Photo by Keifer Russell
To qualify for the meal swipes, students can’t have a meal plan and must be enrolled in at least one class.

One struggle for college students can be finding a hot meal for themselves. In a study regarding food agency among college students, they found that some struggle to cook because of limited time, money, materials as well as cooking knowledge.

Upper-level students at Marquette do not have a meal plan built into their student billing. While they do have the option to purchase one, the purchase of a meal plan can be a burden for students who have to pay for rent and other amenities.

Samari Price, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences at Marquette, has witnessed the issue of food insecurity firsthand after listening to the experiences of other people who were facing the issue. 

“I am in the Educational Opportunity Program,” Price said. “People in EOP discussed how food insecurity was an issue for them and having access to food around campus was hard because they didn’t have a meal plan.” 

Price acknowledged this struggle that many of her classmates were experiencing during her second year at Marquette.

“I knew I wanted to help, I just wasn’t sure how,” Price said. “I was a sophomore and wasn’t sure where to start.”

Now, Price has found a piece to the solution. With help from Sodexo, Marquette’s dining service system, Student Affairs and Bridgeman Flowers, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, a program was implemented in October to help those without a meal plans on campus.

Swipe Out Hunger gives off-campus students without a meal plan of 15 free meal swipes to use at any of the Marquette dining halls. Students can apply through the Marquette Backpack Programs Instagram, a food service that fights food insecurity on campus.

Students can also contact Christine Little, manager of campus food recovery and assistance

Years before Price made an effort to help combat the issue of food insecurity on campus, there was a plan from Sodexo, Marquette’s dining service system, to help combat the issue. Brian Kawa, the resident district manager, said there were plans to give free access to students who needed meal swipes at Marquette when he first arrived on campus in 2020. 

“One of the programs the previous leadership had been working on was a partnership with Swipe Out Hunger,” Kawa said. “We (Sodexo) were actually looking at Marquette as a beta site to test it out. But when the pandemic hit, the program just had to be put on the back burner.” 

Despite the idea being delayed due to the pandemic, it didn’t stop Price and Flowers, from their pursuit of getting  Swipe Out Hunger in motion at Marquette.

Rick Arcuri, Executive director of Marquette University Student Affairs Leadership Team, remembers the two of them going to student affairs to get the program started. 

“Samari and Bridgeman brought us something that was somewhat different,” Arcuri said. “The Swipe Out Hunger Program was need-based, but they were talking about something that was a little more relaxed.” 

 This implementation makes it easier for students without a meal plan to get something to eat without having to worry about where to get it and if they have time to get it.

“It’s convenient, it offers everything from our meal plan,” Arcuri said. “It gives students a lot of leeway in choosing the food that they get. I liked the idea of students being able to choose what they’re gonna eat.”

For Rolando Flores, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, the program has made his life as an upperclassman a lot easier when it comes to getting something to eat fast.

“It makes it so much easier to get food on the quicks like that,” Flores said. “Especially this past week with dead week or finals week. I would not necessarily forget to eat, but maybe forget to cook. I’ll be like, ‘Okay, I wanna eat,’ and then I gotta make food, or I gotta go back home. And with this, I can swipe anywhere.”

Despite the program only being out for a month, Flores sees the good in this program for those around him.

“It’s very helpful. I know some people’s situations are different than others, and from what I heard, some people don’t have food for the week or something,” Flores said. “It’s very helpful to anyone, really. It’s free, easy access to food, like who would say no?”

If you are interested in the Marquette Backpack Program, whether it’s to be a volunteer or a participant, you can check out their Instagram @mubackpackprogram to learn more about the meal swipe program and more.

This article was written by Rashad Alexander and Molly Gretzlock. They can be reached at [email protected] and [email protected]

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About the Contributors
Keifer Russell, Staff Photographer
Keifer Russell is a junior from Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin studying digital media and public relations and is a Staff Photographer of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. Outside of the Wire he enjoys rock climbing, photography (figures), as well as finding and listening to new music. He is very excited to further refine his photographic content over the next year

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