The Food Pantry at Columbia to Partner with Swipe Out Hunger: Columbia Dining to Sponsor First Month of Meals

April 29, 2019

The Food Pantry at Columbia and Columbia Dining announced they will partner with national organization Swipe Out Hunger, as part of a continued effort to address hunger amongst its student community and the stigma associated with food insecurity. Nationally, 1 in 3 college studentsare food insecure. 

Swipe Out Hunger is a national nonprofit that partners with students and universities to provide services and support to help address food insecurity, currently across 74 campuses to date.The Columbia Dining Swipe Out Hunger program will direct funds to the Food Pantry for students facing food insecurity. 

For the Food Pantry, the partnership means guidance and connections with a national movement, learning from shared experiences and innovative solutions from partner schools. Swipe Out Hunger supports its partners in reducing the stigma on campus through campaigns, as well as mobilization on the state level to bring more attention and resources to address the issue.

“This partnership, although in its infancy, has already had a considerable impact on our approach to the mission of mitigating hunger at Columbia University. Through our affiliation with Swipe Out Hunger, not only was The Food Pantry able to further engage Columbia Dining as a partner, but we have successfully created a module with which to approach other potential partners in the Columbia community. As Columbia’s official campus affiliate for Swipe Out Hunger, we at The Food Pantry are thrilled to expand our sphere of impact. This opportunity would not be possible without the help of people in our community, namely Victoria Dunn, Scott Wright, and Dean Lisa Rosen-Metsch.” – Matthew Linsky GS ‘20 & Adam He CC ‘20 (Swipe Out Hunger, Columbia Chapter Co-Founders)

Columbia Dining has committed an annual $5,000 donation – the equivalent of 1,000 uneaten meals – to the Food Pantry in support of the collaboration with Swipe Out Hunger. Although the Swipe Out
Hunger model typically enables students to donate leftover meal swipes, Columbia's program will
directly donate funds from the Dining budget to support the campus pantry.

The Food Pantry is located on the 5thfloor of Lerner Hall and is open to all Columbia students. The month of disbursements sponsored by Columbia Dining begins Monday, April 29. The end of the academic year is typically peak traffic in the Pantry at the end of classes, during exams and into the summer period. 

Over the past three years, Columbia Dining has taken numerous steps to help the university address food insecurity. Columbia Dining currently provides financial and buying support to the Food Pantry. It also facilitates the Emergency Meal Fund, a no-questions-asked program offering 6 meals a term to undergraduate students in need. Columbia Dining operates during fall, Thanksgiving, and spring breaks to make sure students staying on campus have an affordable place to eat.

“Columbia Dining has been actively working with the student community to identify solutions within our means to help address food insecurity. Supporting the partnership between the Food Pantry and Swipe Out Hunger is a way for us to continue to provide targeted financial support -- and hopefully pave the way for other campus organizations or local businesses to get involved and ‘sponsor meals’ through the Pantry as well.” – Scott Wright, VP Campus Services.

Learn more about The Food Pantry at Columbia: thefoodpantry.studentgroups.columbia.edu.

About Swipe Out Hunger

Swipe Out Hunger is a national nonprofit committed to ending college student hunger. It partners with colleges and universities and provides financially and logistically efficient anti-hunger programs. Recognized for its entrepreneurial nature, Swipe Out Hunger has been named an Obama White House Champion For Change and its founder, Rachel Sumekh, has landed a spot on the Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list. From its beginnings as a grassroots movement at UCLA in 2010, Swipe Out Hunger has since served 1.6 million nourishing meals across 28 states and more than 70 campuses. For more information, visit swipehunger.org.