This past spring we witnessed an impressive demonstration of Hawkeyes helping Hawkeyes through the Hawkeye Meal Share Program. Hawkeye Meal Share is a new program that began in January 2018. The program provides students the opportunity to donate their unused guest meal swipes online to any undergraduate, graduate, or professional student in need at the University of Iowa.
Food insecurity among college students is a growing concern. Food insecurity is a lack of access, or financial resources to access, a sufficient amount of quality, affordable, and nutritious food. Access to quality food is important for college students in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and be successful in and out of the classroom. Students experiencing food insecurity were able to receive support and meals by contacting Student Care & Assistance in the Office of the Dean of Students. This past spring semester over 4,000 meals were donated and 47 students received assistance through the program. The appreciation for the program and meals was overwhelming as shown below.
“This means the world to me and I’m so incredibly grateful.”
“Thank you for setting me up with the meal swipes. The difference between being fed and trying to study versus not eating on campus and trying to study is overwhelming.”
“Thank you very much. This will help me out a lot.”
Ideas regarding additional support were sent to the office after the program began, as many were interested in other ways they could help Hawkeyes. These ideas included purchasing care packages, buying meal plans, supporting the Food Pantry at Iowa, and providing monetary donations to support the program through the Center for University Advancement. We have been working on developing many of these ideas and are pleased to report that we were able to partner with the Center for University Advancement to create an account for monetary donations to support the program. Additional information and marketing regarding the 2018-2019 academic year will be available in August.
All of this is possible thanks to the work and collaboration of the University of Iowa Student Government (UISG)/Graduate and Professional Student Government (GPSG), Office of the Vice President for Student Life, Office of the Dean of Students, University Housing & Dining, Food Pantry at Iowa, Associated Residence Halls, and the charitable students of the University of Iowa.