Last Friday, Feb. 5, students at John Carroll University were able to help survivors in Haiti by donating one of their meal plan swipes. The fundraiser raised $1,012.50 and 450 students took part in it.
Students were asked to donate their lunch swipe if they had a meal plan at the school, and could do so by completing an online survey by Feb. 3. The Student Union also publicized the event on Facebook.
Tyson Dubay, food service director at John Carroll University, said that the University has previously donated meal swipes to charity, including after the 2004 tsunami disaster in Indonesia, and planned the fundraiser in conjunction with the Office of Residence Life.
Dubay said, “Each meal swipe donated was worth $2.25, and this was based on the cost of the food for that meal.”
He added that although JCU meal swipes are usually valued at $8, a higher cost than the $2.25 donated, the value of meal swipes differ for each student based on their meal plan.
Dubay said, “Students usually have a ten, fourteen or nineteen meal plan. To work out how much each meal is worth depends upon calculating the total cost of their meal plan per semester and finding the value of each meal.”
Although students were unable to donate the full value of their meal plan to benefit Haiti, many students who took part said that they were happy to donate anything that they could.
Sophomore Kelsey Thompson agreed. She said, “I really did think that it was a great way for students to be active in the relief projects for Haiti. It was such a simple thing to give up, and yet it meant worlds to some people.”
Senior Katy Flynn said, “Although I wish the entire monetary value could have been given, I understand how portions of the cost of every meal are divided up and allocated to different things. I know that Aramark has contracts with vendors and other monetary obligations that they have to uphold, so they probably could not allocate the entire amount for the donation.”
Dubay declined to comment on contracts.
“The remainder of the money that was not donated was the cost of labor, since the employees were still present on that day for the students who still ate in the cafeteria. It was not possible to donate the entire $8 or the cafeteria would have had to close completely,” said Ashley Bauer, Student Union vice president for commuication.
However, many students were unaware that only $2.25 from their meal swipe was donated to Haiti.
Lauren Gunderman, freshman, said that she would still have donated her meal swipe even if she had known that only $2.25 was being donated from each meal.
Gunderman said, “I donated my meal swipe because after the disaster in the already impoverished Haiti I wanted to do all I could, and donating a meal swipe seemed like an easy way to give to the country.”
However, Gunderman felt that the amount that was to be donated should have been advertised.
“Maybe the group advertising the meal swipe should have notified the students of the little portion of money being sent to Haiti,” said Gunderman.