Arete contribution by Shelley Spalding
Nearly all WKU students have had the experience of having three or four meal plans left to spend on a Sunday night. They go to the food court, get a few soft drinks, Poptarts, and some random kind of gum—just enough to use all their meal plans remaining from the week.
Tyler Jury, a graduating senior from Elizabethtown, Ky., majoring in chemistry and biology and headed to the University of Louisville’s dental school in July, was all too familiar with this situation. It was the fall of 2012 when the cogs started turning and formed the idea of Share A Swipe. It’s an organization that many Honors College scholars are involved in, which encourages students to spend their extra meal plans on Sunday nights on food that is given to McNeill Elementary. Students create packages for elementary students with notes of encouragement to take home over the weekend, when they may not have other food to eat.
“I remember on Sunday nights I used to go Red Zone, get a steak, and use like, four meal plans,” Jury said. “Sometimes I’d buy eight Gatorades when I needed to use some, but it’s not like I really needed any of that.”
While spending time with fellow students in a book study of Max Lucado’s “Outlive Your Life,” Jury and others were awakened to the issue of hunger, which birthed the idea of Share A Swipe.
The organization has been immensely successful on WKU’s campus, and Matt Lawson, also an Honors College student, shared what he hopes to take place in the future.
A freshman from Oldham County, Ky., studying political science and Spanish, Lawson learned about Share A Swipe at an info fair at MASTER Plan, and has been very active for the cause since then. He said that he and others working with the organization hope to expand with ideas such as reaching out to other campuses, working with the homeless, and much more.
“If everyone went out of their way to give a meal, we could help not just one, but so many schools and people,” Lawson said.
Both Jury and Lawson both expressed an intense desire to create strong relationships with children to whom these foods go, and to see the fruit come from the efforts the students in the Honors College and at WKU have made.
“We started Share A Swipe, and we wanted to make a difference in our local Bowling Green community,” Jury said, “but it’s about a lot more than just providing food for people. It’s about feeding people’s hearts.”
For more information on Share A Swipe or to participate, visit its table located in the Dero Downing University Center on Sunday nights, or like their Facebook page, Share A Swipe at WKU.