Did you know that 1 in 7 college students worry about where their next meal may come from? In California, that number is even more dire–1 in 3 struggle with hunger insecurity daily. Pretty sobering facts when you assume that people who can go to college could surely afford proper nutrition.
In 2009, Rachel Sumekh and her friends, all students at UCLA, used their meal cards to purchase sandwiches which they distributed to hungry people along the city’s streets. Eventually, the number of meals purchased with meal points reached 15,000. With so much unused funding left on students’ cards, Rachel and her friends uncovered an enormous resource that could be used to feed hungry people throughout the community and on campus. Swipe Out Hunger is the organization that Rachel now leads, dedicated to empowering students on campuses across the country to end hunger and homelessness.
We were introduced to Rachel a few months ago and learned quite quickly how this inspiring young woman has already brought the program to more than 26 campuses across the country (with more coming on board), as well as having successfully lobbied the California legislature to address the issue of hunger on campus through student meal sharing practices.
Our matching grant helped make possible a record-breaking $76,000 infusion for Swipe Out Hunger so that students like Emily, the focus of this video, will never experience hunger again.