Students donating meal plans to charity with ‘Share A Swipe’ program

Lindsay Kriz

A tub was placed outside Minton Hall’s lobby on Sunday, about a third of it filled with Pop-Tarts, Nutri-Grain bars and cereal bowls an hour into the first week of the “Share A Swipe” program.

Elizabethtown junior Tyler Jury stood by the bin, approaching passing students and handing them flyers with information about the program.

“I’m feeling good about this,” Jury said. “We wanted to help WKU and the Bowling Green community. Even small things can make a difference.”

“Share A Swipe” encourages students to use their extra meal plans to purchase nonperishable foods for charity.

Dry foods that don’t often expire are encouraged contributions. One meal plan can equal three Pop-Tarts packs, three Nutri-Grain bars, two Rice Krispies  treats, two power bars or two cereal bowls.

The purchased food can be dropped off in a bin located in Minton Hall’s lobby.

 Paducah junior Katie Knecht said she and a group of about 10 others came up with the idea for “Share A Swipe.”

A Facebook group for the program, which began its first collection on Sunday, had about 150 say they were attending.

Knecht hopes bins will eventually be located in other dorm lobbies as well as in the Downing University Center.

The same group meets in Garrett Conference Center for book discussions relative to charity. They also skip lunch on Wednesdays and instead donate the money.

“This semester we’ve been discussing ‘Outlive Your Life’ by Max Lucado,” Knecht said. “He talks about taking action, and the book talked about hunger.”

Knecht said this gave the group their idea for the project.

“It’s a simple way for people to help out,” she said.

Owensboro freshman Griffin Fruge, another group member and project co-creator, said he and the group wanted to be proactive.

“We want to feed those in need — not just with food, but with love,” he said.

Fruge said the lunch group discussed the idea of “Share A Swipe” last semester, but it was never put into action.

“I’m not expecting a huge crowd (Sunday),” he said. “But we hope that it’ll grow eventually.”