Students encouraged to donate extra meal swipes during holidays

Boyd Market offers students near West Green grocery options. The OU meal plan allows students to turn leftover meal swipes into donations benefiting people in Athens. (Seth Archer | For The Post)

So far this year, Ohio University students have donated more than 16,000 pounds of food and other grocery items to people in need.

The items, collected in OU’s campus markets, are distributed to Good Works Inc., an Athens-based community program that aids impoverished people in rural Appalachia, according to its website.

Students can donate their university meal swipes, each worth $6.25, which are used by market employees to buy goods based on a seasonal list provided by Good Works.

All goods are stored in campus markets until Good Works picks them up weekly.

“Culinary Services not only strives to provide exceptional customer service on Ohio University’s campus; we also work to play an active role within the surrounding community,” Daniel Pittman, assistant director of auxiliary sales, said in an email.

Some of the items currently needed include canned fruit, laundry detergent and trash bags, according to a sign in Nelson Market from Good Works.

“I love the program,” said Shoshana Blair, a junior studying theater. “When getting food, if I’m not close to using a whole meal and don’t want anything else, I’ll donate up to the next meal.”

With the holiday season approaching, Culinary Services hopes to make students aware of the program.

“We typically work to boost general awareness during both the holiday season and other periods throughout the year in which Good Works Inc. experiences an increased need for seasonal items,” Pittman said.


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