‘Share a Swipe’ back for second semester at WKU

Paducah Senior Katie Knecht, one founder of the “Share a Swipe” program, and Elizabethtown senior Danielle Clifford, talk with passing students about the program last Sunday on its first day this semester. Share a Swipe gives students a practical way to use extra meal plans that will go to waste at the end of the week.

Cameron Koch

The group “Share a Swipe,” which encourages WKU students to use their extra meal plans to purchase and donate food to help feed the hungry, is back in action this semester.

Share a Swipe is a student-run organization which started last semester out of a book discussion group that skipped lunch on Wednesdays and instead donated the money that would have been spent on lunch to charity.

The first chance to donate was Sunday in the Downing University Center  which is where the group will be every Sunday from 5 to 9 p.m. for the remainder of the semester.

The group had previously been set up in the Minton Hall lobby.

“We moved it in DUC to get more response,” said Bowling Green sophomore Emily Gott.

“Two and a half hours and we already have a full bin,” Gott said on Sunday night.

Share a Swipe was present at the Community and Campus Involvement fair held at Preston Center during MASTER Plan, attempting to make incoming freshman aware of the group.

“Our target is freshmen,” said Gott. “They all have meal plans.”

 Elizabethtown senior Danielle Clifford said it is easy to participate in donation process.

“When I had meal plans, I would stockpile food and never eat it and then throw it away,” she said. “You don’t have to do anything other than put it in the box.”

Paducah senior Katie Knecht said the organization’s simplicity is part of its appeal.

“People like it because it’s simple,” Knecht said. “We are doing God’s work in the smallest way we can.”

By getting the word out about Share a Swipe, Gott and others in the group hope to eventually place donation bins in multiple buildings throughout campus.

“We have a dream of putting a tub in every residence hall,” said Knecht. “That’s our long-term goal for this year.”

In order to have multiple bins however, the group needs volunteers.

“We are looking for people who are excited about it,” Gott said.

The group also hopes to place donation bins in the Gatton Academy as well.

“Gatton students have 19 meals a week,” said Gott, whose father is director of the academy.

“We are going to target them and see if we can get a couple bins in Gatton. We are really hoping they will be excited about it.”

When asked about whether or not the group would last throughout the years, Knecht was optimistic.

“I hope so — we have people from every grade involved, so we are hoping it will trickle down,” Knecht said.

 “We are hoping it becomes a thing everybody knows about for the rest of Western’s life.”