The Wayne State Warrior Meal Share Program, a collaborative program between WSU Housing, Dining Services and The W Food Pantry, aims to provide students with free meal swipes, donated by their peers, to reduce food insecurity on campus.
Food insecurity is a lack of nutritional food or an insufficient access to food, which can lead to “physiological sensations of hunger,” according to the College and University Food Bank Alliance, an organization centered on fighting food insecurity at colleges and universities. Thirty percent of college students are food insecure.
The meal share program, which was being worked on before the COVID-19 pandemic, launched at the beginning of the fall semester, said Megan Pilkington, WSU dining marketing manager. So far approximately 20 students have shown an interest in the program.
Students can complete a Warrior Meal Share Program donation form to donate meal swipes for other students to use, Pilkington said.
“Enrolled students with a meal plan may share up to three guest meal swipes per semester,” she said. “If a student doesn’t often treat a guest to the dining hall, there are other Warriors who could benefit.”
Currently, students are only able to use their Meal Share Program swipes at Towers Café, Pilkington said, with Gold ‘n’ Greens and Towers Cafe Express temporarily closed.
Student Senate President Riya Chhabra said she believes the meal share program is a cost-saver for students living on campus.
This program gives students the opportunity to eat with their friends at the dining halls, Chhabra said. Choosing a retail establishment somewhere else on campus might cause students to not have that interaction or connection due to financial constraints.
Aramark, the food service company that serves WSU, donated meals to kick-off the program, said The W Food Pantry Coordinator Rainesha Williams-Fox.
Students in need of meals can complete a form to receive a meal card through the program, Williams-Fox said.
“Once a student completes the form, they are notified to pick up the card at The W. Meal cards range from five to 20 meals,” she said.
Students only need to show their OneCard when picking up their meal cards, she said.
Students can keep track of the number of meal swipes on their card by asking dining hall cashiers, contacting the OneCard office or through the WSU app, according to the program’s website.
The map below shows the dining-hall locations on WSU’s campus:
Allise Hurd is a contributing writer for The South End. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cover photo by Allise Hurd.