Philadelphia, like most cities in the U. S, has a large homeless community that could benefit from our help and we feel that Drexel has the potential to do so. The goal for our campaign is to help our local homeless community while using the dining dollars that would otherwise not have been used. There is always an abundance of meal swipes left over as most students do not end up using all of them. The remaining amount of food that would have been purchased with those meal swipes can be donated to a local homeless shelter or soup kitchen.
A program like this would be an excellent addition to Drexel and its students as they would like to know that their school is giving back to its city with their unused meal swipes. Introducing a program like this would also help Drexel’s appearance, making the University more attractive to potential donors and investors People would be more inclined to donate to Drexel if they see all of the work that the University does to help out its local community. This means that, in the long run, this program may also help bring in more money for Drexel’s sports and activities.
48. Million Americans live in food insecure houses, including 32. 8 million adults and 15. 3 million children. And in Philadelphia, At a given point in time, the city has around an average of 650 people living on the streets, 300 of whom are in Center City. Food poverty is something Americans face everyday and Drexel can be a solution to this problem, art least locally. The average student does not typically use every meal swipe every week. Personally, I end up with 10 or more left over swipes every week. Food shelters like the Greater Philadelphia Coalition against hunger would be grateful for any food source.
Unused food from a result of unused meal swipes should be going to food banks. The food at Drexel, at the end of the day, just goes to waste. Supporters such as students, parents, and Drexel associates concur on what could be done. The University of Maryland’s Ben Simon enacted a similar process to donate all the unused food at the end of the week. “Once a week, five volunteers would show up at the South Campus dining hall to pick up the leftovers and drive them to area food shelters”. It can be done. It should be done. It needs to be done.
Ben Simon saw that his school was wasting their food and acted on that. One unused meal swipe equals unused food which equals another person left hungry unless changed. Food left over just goes to waste. What is stopping us from using those sources to help the citizens of Philadelphia who would appreciate even the smallest source of food. The University of Maryland has a similar program in place. They state that ” we strive to minimize unsold leftovers, food that cannot be sold but be effectively reused and vet is safe for consumption is donated to those in need”.
One way that the University of Maryland enacts this program is by aiming to reduce waste. They partner with the food recovery network. The food recovery network is comprised of students who volunteer and collect excess food and donate it to the people of DC. Mimicking a similar process that the University of Maryland enacted, here at Drexel, would be a way to improve our campus and surroundings. Having a team set up, to gather all of the surplus food that is left over week after week, would be key to having an efficient method of donating said excess food.
We hope to reach the affiliates of Drexel and help them see how big of an impact we could make. Drexel holds the power to help us put this plan into action. Ben simon is how this program arose on his campus. In an interview with food tank Ben was asked what his biggest obstacle was when trying to gather the excess food. Ben’s response was that the dining halls had never heard of Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act. This act is specific to help protect from liabilities. A way to bring this system to
Drexel to donate excess food would be to adopt the program that the University of Maryland designed and start a chapter here on campus. By bringing the food recovery network to Drexel we, as students, would be able help make a difference by helping others in need. After interviewing five parents there was a noticeable trend. Why this process of donating the food was not already in place. Parents are usually the payment behind a student’s meal plan. Their opinions on this whole process are very important to the success of donating the food.
When one parent heard that their child had over 8 meal swipes left a week they were very surprised. Certain questions like is my child eating probably arose in their minds. However, a very important question was continuously brought up. We are paying for these meals plans, but where does all the leftover food actually go? When Jim Kessler found out that it was just discarded, he was beside himself. After sharing our plan to bring leftover food to food shelters they felt a sense of ease. Jim stated that he, “was surprised that Drexel did not already have this system in place”.
Parents who were interviewed were pleased to know that when this program would be enacted that it would be a part a huge movement to help Philadelphia’s hunger problem. After talking with about five students about the meal plan and what could be done with it, I think there was some agreement that it’s not the best that it could be. Although may be convenient for student dining there seemed to be a consensus that it was overpriced and that there was some room for improvement with the food. One question that we asked the students was, if they used all of their meal swipes.
A few answers that were commonly brought up were that students would not ending up using all their meals swipes, spend more dining dollars, or using actual money to pay for other food besides campus dining food. After discussing with the students we interviewed, we asked them how they would feel if the food would be used to impact Philadelphia’s hungry population. One thought from a student was that if there was leftover meal swipes or dining dollars it should be used help to benefit others or be allotted back.
When the thought of donating the extra food to an organization, that helps feed the impoverished citizens of Philadelphia, the students reaction to it was overwhelming. Students thought it would be a great movement to help their fellow citizens, in the community they now call home. Drexel needs to make this impact, the students are with this movement and Drexel should be too. People who go without food or nutrition are 30% more likely to be hospitalized and require longer hospital stays according to hungercoalition. org. By not donating this extra food that goes unused Drexel is indirectly affecting people’s health.
Little babies whose nourishment is essential to their growth would go unnourished and end up in the hospital. The cost of hunger in the Philadelphia area is 3. 35 billion a year. This total comes from health bills, lose of education, and donations to charities to fight hunger. Why would Drexel not want to be apart of this movement and help save the community of Philadelphia money? Many people who are eligible for food stamps do not receive them. There is an overabundance of families who need food stamps who are not able to be helped.
Drexel is a small solution to help these families feed themselves and their children. The extra food Drexel has could be meals for many families in this city. As students here at Drexel we are constantly told that we have a voice and that we shouldn’t take it for granted. We need to act on what we see when we can. If our dining services are just wasting the food that they have instead of using it to benefit the city that we reside in. As students we can get together, speak up about this issue, and work together with a program to help donate to cause that needs it more.
This program can benefit so many people not only providing impoverished people food, but also providing service opportunities to Drexel students. After analyzing all the information obtained from students, parents, and staff of the Hans and Urban Eatery I think it’s safe to agree that if the excess meal swipes or dining dollars can be used a bit more wisely. As was mentioned earlier the excess food at the end of the day could be donated to a good cause, like a food organization help the impoverished of Philadelphia that can’t afford to feed themselves.
Parents don’t want to be paying for something that their child isn’t using, spending more more than they should be. Students, to some content, think their meal plans could be used in a better way and don’t want to be wasting either their, or their parent’s money on something they don’t use, unless it’s used for a better cause. It seems like one of the best options that the school can do with their excess food that isn’t used at the end of the day, and we think so too. In the end, if it does happen, everybody benefits from it.