Wednesday’s Give a Meal event at the University of Connecticut generated $6,500 for various local organizations when 2,620 students donated flex passes during dinner, a significant drop from last year.
This year’s donations were down by roughly 21 percent from last spring which generated 3,317 donated passes.
“Despite efforts, there was a decrease in swipes,” Director of Dining Services Dennis Pierce said.
The 2016 spring semester’s event collected 3,334 swipes.
Pierce said he does not have any thoughts on what may have accounted for this year’s decrease in donations.
The over 2,600 students who did donate cited the ease and spirit of giving as their reasons for donating one of their flex passes.
“I figured I’m probably not going to finish them all myself and it’s a very easy way to give,” fourth-semester mechanical engineering major Jack Pashayan, who donated one of his flex passes at McMahon, said.
Xiao Lin, a sixth-semester micro and cell biology major said donating was a way to help people with something that would otherwise likely have gone to waste.
“I have a lot of flex passes and if it helps people I might as well do it,” Lin said.
The donations will be divided equally among the benefitting organizations, Pierce said. The fundraiser benefits the Mansfield Food Pantry, No Freeze Shelter in Willimantic and the Covenant Soup Kitchen in Willimantic. The money generated from the event will also help defer costs for Community Outreach’s alternative break trips. Each beneficiary will receive $1,625.
Last fall, the donations went to benefit victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and an earthquake in Mexico. 3,182 flex passes were donated during the course of the evening to help those causes. That number signifies nearly 650 more donations than the fall of 2016, which generated only 2,533 donated swipes.
Anna Zarra Aldrich is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. She tweets @ZarraAnna.