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CMU offers options for students experiencing food insecurity.

CMU launches meal swipe donation program

Students can give or receive unused guest meal passes and purchase meals for $1

Contact: Ari Harris


​There's new help for hungry students at Central Michigan University  starting this week.

A new meal swipe donation program and low-cost $1 meal option launched today, just in time for the start of the new semester. A committee of students and staff representing the Financial Wellness Collaborative, the CMU Student Food Pantry, the Student Ombuds Office and Auxiliary Services collaborated to develop and implement the programs.

Giving and receiving help

Students may register to receive meal swipes by completing the online request form at Engage Central.

To donate guest meal swipes, please visit the CentralCard office in the Bovee University Center beginning Feb. 10.

If you need other help, please contact a Care Advocate by calling 989-774-2273 or contact the CMU Counseling Center at 989-774-3381.

Swipe here for help

Students who need short-term help in the form of extra meals can register to receive meal swipes using an online form on Engage Central.

Eligible students may receive a block of 10 meals once per semester. The swipes will be added to their CMU CentralCard the next business day and can be used at any campus residential restaurant, said Cal Seelye, executive director of auxiliary services.

A bank of unused guest swipes from the fall semester is available now, and every student with a residential meal plan will be able to donate their unused guest meals.

"For this program to be sustainable, we will need students to donate their unused guest meal swipes," Seelye said.

Students can visit the CentralCard office in the Bovee University Center to donate up to three guest swipes beginning Feb. 10 and may donate additional guest meal swipes after spring break.

Dinner for a dollar

Students who need an affordable meal also will be able to purchase meals for $1 just outside the Down Under Food Court from 6-7 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays.

"These meals create an opportunity for students to access food on days when the Student Food Pantry is not offering a distribution," Seelye said.

The complete meals may include soups, sandwiches, fruits and vegetables and will make use of unused food from dining operations whenever possible, he said.

The $1 meals will be sold for cash only, and the funds collected will offset a portion of the cost of the program.

Take care at CMU

CMU President Bob Davies said the meal swipe and $1 meal programs are just two among the many support programs designed to help students in need.

"At CMU, we take care of one another," he said. "Whether a student needs help with access to food from the Student Food Pantry, help addressing financial hardship from the Student Emergency Fund, or help addressing stress or anxiety from our Counseling Center, this community is here to help."


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