Swiping for Service
Published: Friday, February 7, 2014
Updated: Friday, February 7, 2014 02:02
When students complain about Leo’s, Leo’s tries to win them back. Clam Chowder Day, Meatless Mondays, nutrition counseling and a Super Bowl viewing party are among the special events heavily promoted to those with meal plans. Advertisements are effective, but their ubiquity highlights a comparative lack of publicity for Aramark’s floundering Grab ‘n’ Give program.
For students who remember to participate, Grab ‘n’ Give allows them to donate one meal every Friday after swiping into O’Donovan Hall. At the end of each month, Aramark writes a check for the total value — $2.74 per meal donated — to the Center for Social Justice, which in turn forwards the money to local soup kitchen Martha’s Table.
But students are often surprised to know that this program exists. While the advertising budget for Leo’s pays for the excessive promotions for themed days, special menu items and new food stations, the commendable service that Grab ‘n’ Give provides is unpublicized. And even when a handful of students get in the habit of donating their meals, yearly student turnover and a lack of public information has kept the already limited Grab ‘n’ Give program from gaining widespread appeal, rendering Aramark’s gesture of community service empty.
Aramark and the university should take steps to ensure more students participate in this program. A simple solution would be to allow students to select an automatic weekly donation of a leftover meal when they purchase a meal plan at the beginning of the semester. With only a one-time click of the “yes” button required to donate meals for the entire semester, participation would surely skyrocket.
Grab ‘n’ Give is a commendable program. All that’s left is to let students know about it.