'Give a Meal' allows students to donate flex passes from their meal plans

Dining Services collected 2,533 swipes this semester which allowed for "Give a Meal", to be a success.  (Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus)

The University of Connecticut’s Dining Services and Community Outreach raised about $6,332.50 for local non-profit organizations during the fall semester’s “Give a Meal” initiative on Wednesday.

In total, Dining Services collected 2,533 swipes this semester, a “significant decrease” from last spring’s number, according to Dining Services executive director Dennis Pierce.

The raw food cost for each flex pass swipe is equivalent to $2.50.

During the dinner shift, students were asked to donate one flex pass from their meal plan. Proceeds supported the Covenant Soup Kitchen, the No Freeze Project, the Mansfield Shelter and UConn Community Outreach Alternative Break Transportation Funding.

Swipes were accepted at all eight residential dining halls.

South Campus Marketplace accounted for the most swipes, while Whitney Dining Hall accounted for the fewest, Pierce said.

“Dining has run a program like this for close to 29 years,” Pierce said of the biyearly initiative.

“I think it’s a good way to give back to the community, especially since most students don’t use all of their flex passes in a given semester,” third-semester chemistry major Hayley Piepho said.

The event was advertised in all eight dining halls on campus, on the Dining Services’ website, and on the UConn Student Daily Digest.

“Dining Services limits ‘Give a Meal’ to once a semester and dinnertime because the donation comes directly from our meal plan revenue,” Pierce explained. 

I think it’s a good way to give back to the community, especially since most students don’t use all of their flex passes in a given semester.
— third-semester chemistry major, Hayley Piepho

Dining Services is also involved in several other initiatives throughout the year: Pierce said that at the end of each school day, the extra food from the six UC Cafes is packaged, refrigerated overnight and sent out to the Covenant Soup Kitchen in Windham the next morning.

Additionally, in December and May before Christmas and summer breaks, Dining Services conducts a “food sweep” and donates all perishables to Covenant Soup Kitchen, Pierce said.


Olivia Pesce is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at olivia.pesce@uconn.edu