Sixteen years after I bought my last pancakes in Medary Commons, SDSU offers a solution to meal plan waste: students can donate up to 50 percent of their meal plan dollars to the Brookings Food Pantry. KELO notes the story Friday, but The Collegian's Kate Wegehaupt has the full story:
The first donation date is Friday, April 16, followed by April 23 and 30. Students can pick up a ballot from all main dining sites, selecting the food items or dollar amount they’d like to donate to Brookings Area Food Pantry. Ballots are then turned in to drop-boxes at each dining location. From a student’s perspective, that is all the work it takes to help someone out.
After being turned in, your pencil checks translate into healthy food items that the Brookings Area Food Pantry needs most. The Monday following a donation day, SDSU Dining Services will deliver donations to the Pantry [Kate Wegehaupt, "Food Pantry Useful for Extra Flex Dollars," SDSU Collegian, 2010.03.24].
Wegehaupt reports the Brookings Food Pantry can well use this help: in 2009, the Food Pantry served triple the number of residents who use the service in 2005.
My speech student informs me that DSU is doing something similar here in Madison. It would be nice if the food plan requirements didn't impose such surpluses on pennywise students in the first place... but at least we can turn the excess funds to some good. Students, put down the extra bags of jerky from the C-Store; put that money to good use for the community!