GOOD

Sharing the Bounty: Dining Hall Swipes as Hunger-Fighting Tool

"Swipes for the Homeless," a nonprofit organization founded at UCLA, has turned dining hall swipes into a means of combating hunger in Los Angeles.

\n
Come the end of an academic term, dorm-housed and dining hall-nourished college students face the “leftover meal points” dilemma. Because meal plans are usually included in housing contracts, every dining hall swipe for the term—whether used or unused—generally comes out of the individual’s pocket. For those with meals that roll over, the accumulated bounty of swipes can lead to an end-of-term food rush: students spending the last few days of the term milking the most out of their remaining points by going on snack shopping sprees, swiping into dining halls for pure indulgence (i.e. just to grab a ice cream cone), or feeding the hungry masses of upperclassmen eyeing the “free” feasts.—all to prevent those unused swipes from going to waste.
But students at UCLA have a more charitable option. A student group turned nonprofit organization called “Swipes for the Homeless” has found a way to transform leftover meal points into a means of combating hunger in Los Angeles. Undergraduates who live off dining hall food can opt to donate their remaining swipes to hungry people in the neighborhood. Each swipe donated is equivalent to a meal, which includes bottled juice or water, a bow l of noodles, small fruit bowls, granola bars, chips, canned soup, and fruit.


“Students don’t just donate the meals to us. While they’re donating, we give them information about different ways that they can get involved both on- and off-campus,” says CEO and founder Bryan Pezeshki. “We’ve had a very positive effect in the community, and not just in terms of passing out the food. We spend time with homeless individuals and share meals with them.”

Since its inception in the fall of 2009, the organization dedicated to “Helping the Homeless One Meal Swipe at a Time” has distributed more than 20,000 pounds of food to the homeless living on the streets, shelters in the city, the UCLA Food Closet, and not-for-profit organizations like StandUp For Kids. The first food drive resulted in roughly 350 meals, but participation has skyrocketed: The latest food drive raised 7,300 meals. “Swipes” has also worked to raise campus awareness on hunger and homelessness issues by helping establish the Bruin Meal Voucher program, which offers fully subsidized dining hall meals for students struggling to make ends meet.

\n
\n

\n
The organization has since turned into an international movement, with chapters at 12 different colleges and four more in the works. The White House’s Campus Champions of Change Challenge has lauded “Swipes’” efforts as it continues to contact universities throughout the nation to alleviate the hunger and homelessness crises.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1GATPgLPxQ&context=C484af87ADvjVQa1PpcFMmIl_3HAmkmFqgeZKkQQmhWD4Pya7zoMU=
Photos courtesy of Bryan Pezeshki\n
Articles
via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

In the far-reaching conversation, Clinton and the self-proclaimed "King of All Media" and, without a doubt, the best interviewer in America discussed everything from Donald Trump's inauguration to her sexuality.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
Pixabay

Offering parental leave for new fathers could help close the gender gap, removing the unfair "motherhood penalty" women receive for taking time off after giving birth. However, a new study finds that parental leave also has a pay gap. Men are less likely to take time off, however, when they do, they're more likely to get paid for it.

A survey of 2,966 men and women conducted by New America found that men are more likely to receive paid parental leave. Over half (52%) of fathers had fully paid parental leave, and 14% of fathers had partially paid parental leave. In comparison, 33% of mothers had fully paid parental leave and 19% had partially paid parental leave.

Keep Reading Show less

Bans on plastic bags and straws can only go so far. Using disposable products, like grabbing a plastic fork when you're on the go, can be incredibly convenient. But these items also contribute to our growing plastic problem.

Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Cocostation

Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger

Dizaul

Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head

Speakman

Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor

Zomchi

Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

The Planet