Swipe Out Hunger: Rachel and Bryan, The Early Days
Rachel Sumekh and Bryan Pezeshki started a Facebook page in 2009 to spread the word about Swipe Out Hunger. On college campuses, swipes are a form of currency that allows students to purchase meals in campus housing. The organization’s initial model was to ask students who lived on The Hill, in campus housing, to donate their extra meal swipes. Students would donate by going to the dining hall and swiping for “to-go” food. This idea first occurred to Bryan when he realized student’s leftover swipes were going to waste. Originally, UCLA dining did not welcome the idea of giving up the money from the leftover swipes. Rachel Sumekh recalls one dining hall employee smashing the boxes they collected using students’ donated swipes. After UCLA realized the positive reaction they were receiving in response to Swipe Out Hunger (formerly known as Swipes for the Homeless), UCLA dining began to collaborate with the organization. As of June 2010, Swipe Out Hunger changed from their old model to a new one. Instead of collecting to-go boxes paid for with swipes, they were able to convert the swipes into U.S. dollars that would be used to buy non-perishable food for people in food-insecure areas. Swipe Out Hunger began in 2009 with a small group of friends wanting to make a difference, and now the organization has spread to 19 different universities.
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