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"Swipe Out Hunger" program at NDSU deals with food insecurity

NDSU’s Campus Food Insecurity Task Force is partnering with a national program to address the food needs of students on campus.

The national program is called “Swipe Out Hunger.” It’s designed for students who are experiencing temporary food shortages.

"Folks can donate to the 'Swipe Out Hunger' fund, and students will apply meals if they're in need," said Task Force Chair Meghan Yerhot.  "We transfer the money to their student accounts, and they use it at dining centers on campus."

Yerhot said food insecurity is a significant issue on campus.

"I used to be an academic advisor," Yerhot said. "Through that role, I heard a lot of personal stories from students, sayting they're struggling in paying for groceries."

Yerhot said she took a survey—and the results showed 60 percent of NDSU Students knew another student who went hungry.

"Students may feel ashamed to come out and say they're struggling," Yerhot said. "We're hoping to continue to collect data, to see how students are doing, and how big the need is."

Yerhot said the program was launched a couple of weeks ago – and already, it has given out 100 meals to students. She said some faculty and staff have signed up for a payroll deduction, and other people have donated as well.

Yerhot also said a location for a food pantry was secured near the NDSU Bookstore, and that will launch in the spring.

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