Swipe Me In Facebook group hopes to combat food insecurity on campus

Jordan McFarland: “You can make a difference without a title here. (Swipe Me In) was one way that I thought I could make a difference.”

Jordan McFarland, who ran for president in the 2015 Missouri Students Association election, didn’t let his loss in the election stop him from battling food insecurity at MU.

His running mate, Jonathan Segers, and MSA Senator Michael Stephenson recently created a group on Facebook called Swipe Me In. The Facebook group will pair students who have too many swipes with those who have too few.

Swipe Me In was part of McFarland and Seger’s platform when they ran for MSA president and vice president last November. McFarland said he still wanted to go through with the project after losing the election because of the positive feedback he received on the idea.

“You can make a difference without a title here,” McFarland said. “(Swipe Me In) was one way that I thought I could make a difference.”

McFarland said that he has tried to get Campus Dining Services to adopt a similar program for over two years without success.

“This is something that we can do today to help food insecurity,” McFarland said. “This isn’t associated with any student government. This is just me, as a student, trying to make difference.”

Not everyone is on board with Swipe Me In. Tiger Pantry Director Grace Gabel posted her concerns on the Swipe Me In page but later deleted the post.

Gabel said in the Facebook post that Swipe Me In could be abused by students who are simply looking for free swipes rather than students who are food-insecure. She also said that Tiger Pantry has already been working with several campus organizations, including MSA, CDS, the Graduate Professional Council and the Department of Student Activities on a project to combat food insecurity on campus.

“We worry that with your current plan they would associate (Swipe Me In) with our project, and/or ultimately shut the project of helping food insecure students down since yours isn’t following campus legalities,” Gabel said in her post.

Gabel declined to comment further.

McFarland admitted that Swipe Me In could be abused by students but said Tiger Pantry can be used by students who are not food insecure, as well.

“This isn’t meant to interfere with Tiger Pantry (or) anyone else’s projects,” McFarland said. “We should encourage everyone to do whatever they can to tackle an issue they’re passionate about and this is something I’m passionate about, so I really encourage students to take a look at it.”

Edited by Waverly Colville | wcolville@themaneater.com

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