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Swipe It Forward Queen's addresses food insecurity on campus

Students ‘swipe it forward’ and donate meals.

Graphic for Swipe It Forward Queen's program.

Close to 100 food-insecure students were supported by their peers this past year through Student Affairs’ Swipe It Forward Queen’s program.

Over the past three years, the program has enabled thousands of meals, donated by students with meal plans, to be quickly loaded onto the student cards of those referred to the program.  The meals can then be redeemed in dining halls or at campus retail food outlets.

Despite operational limitations and closures due to COVID-19, 714 meals were donated, and 95 students accessed the program.

Swipe It Forward Queen’s offers short-term, urgent support for students living with food insecurity, and we continue to consult with our campus community to learn about expanding our support systems for students dealing with issues related to food access,” says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs. “We hope this program will continue to encourage students to help their peers and support student success, and we thank all students who participate by donating meals each year.”

Launched in 2018, Swipe It Forward Queen’s makes it possible for students with meal plans who may not always use all of their weekly allotments to donate one meal per day (up to five per semester) to students in need. The program is just one of the ways that the university is working to address food insecurity.

Food insecurity, or the limitation or inability to acquire an adequate diet in socially acceptable ways, is experienced in some degree by 39 per cent of Canadian post-secondary students. Food insecurity can range from worry about running out of food and having a limited food selection, to missing meals, reducing food intake, or going without food for an entire day or longer due to lack of money for food.  

Queen’s Student Food Insecurity Advisory Committee is a cross-campus network that monitors sector-wide emerging and good practices that aim to support food-insecure students, reduce stigma, and create a food culture at Queen’s that promotes a broader understanding of student food insecurity.

The Food Access Resources webpage lists options and supports for students on- and off-campus, including Swipe It Forward Queen’s.