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Swiping out Hunger

CMU Associated Student Government and Sodexo partner to address food insecurity on campus

Being a Maverick means being innovative, inspiring, caring and scrappy. It also describes many of the student leaders on CMU’s campus including those serving in the Associated Student Government (ASG). These student leaders continue to tackle projects that benefit their fellow Mavericks. One of the more recent items ASG has directed their efforts towards is eradicating food insecurity on campus through an initiative called Swipe Out Hunger. Swipe Out Hunger is the leading nonprofit addressing hunger among college students by tailoring their programs to the unique needs of each campus community. 

Together, ASG Vice President Salina Edwards, Former Senate Leader Haley Wiedeman and CMU Director of Budgets and Food Services Whitney Sutton spearheaded the initiative. Through the Swipe Out Hunger program, Sodexo, Colorado Mesa University’s food service partner, will donate one meal for every resident meal plan purchased at the start of the fall term.

This semester alone, Sodexo donated about 2,100 meals for current Mavericks.

"We're ecstatic Colorado Mesa University has joined the more than 140 campuses in our network who have stood up for its students to end college hunger," said Emily Kass, community engagement manager at Swipe Out Hunger. "By working with incredible student leaders like Salina Edwards in their anti-hunger efforts, CMU is making a meaningful commitment to ensure these programs are accessible and sustainable for its campus community."

Early on, CMU student leaders realized they couldn’t implement this initiative alone so they reached out to staff members to get it launched. Staff members like Sutton.

“It’s important to note that the process of getting meals is pretty anonymous," said Sutton. "Meals are allocated on the students’ MAVcard. There is nothing to identify and draw attention that students may be having food insecurities. We want students to be comfortable."

It was important that the process to access a free meal through this new initiative was easy. Students can contact one of a half-dozen student services contacts who will fill out an e-form, which will anonymously load a meal allocation onto the student's MAVcard, in most cases, the same day. The student can then swipe their MAVcard as normal and no one swiping the card will know it is a free meal. During the weekend or off-hours, students will be provided a generic, non-identifiable coupon card that is valid at The Caf or the Flat Top Grill.

“Swipe Out Hunger shines as a spark that inspires more leadership at CMU,” said ASG President Jay Shearrow. “Coming to CMU means being a part of the Mavily, which means that nobody gets left behind.”

Edwards added, “I'm so grateful for all of the people, especially past ASG administrations, who built the foundation and set the expectation that everyone looks out for one another. Swipe Out Hunger helps ensure that no Maverick goes hungry while also demonstrating the impact of student leadership at CMU.”

ASG leaders are showing what it truly means to be Mavericks.


Written by ASG Press Secretary Mahlet Mamo