By: Max Creager ~Staff Writer~
Last year Hoff Dining Commons, in conversation with previous Student Government Association members and the university, took away the 14 per week meal plan. The reason for the change comes from students who were unable to access the cafeteria at convenient times because the meal plan operated by set time parameters for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some students who visited the dining commons for an early dinner and desired to go back were unable because of the time constraints for the 14 per week plan.
Hoff told the Newswire that students who did not use meals on a given day of the week lost those meals the next week, making the plan inconvenient for students. Although Hoff and many students on campus have considered the change positive, it is affecting the ability of one student led group to continue its local volunteering effort.
For the last decade, a self-organized group of students, under the Jesuit movement called Labre, have been working with Hoff and student-donated meal swipes to bring weekly meals to the homeless population around Cincinnati. The Labre student organization, although not an official Xavier club, is centered on the teachings of Saint Benedict Joseph Labre, the patron saint of the homeless. Every Sunday night the students in Labre take the donated meal swipes from the students and prepare meals for the homeless.
According to Adam Brody, student organizer of Labre, the removal of the 14 per week plan is leading to a massive reduction in meal swipe donations. Brody explained that this is because most students are now purchasing the ultimate meal plan, given that it is only $120 more expensive than the 225 block.
“They (Hoff Dining Commons) don’t have to do this, and they are nice enough to do this for us … They are very very helpful,” Brody said. However, the shift in policy has lead to the Labre organization no longer attaining their weekly requirement of 50 meals.
“We have 60 students on our email list that have the unlimited meal plan that wanted to donate but can’t. So we are trying to find organizations like Panera or restaurants who might want to give us food, but it still makes things difficult.”Brody explained that the food is an icebreaker for students to start forming long-lasting relationships with the homeless population of Cincinnati. According to Brody, Labre, unlike other organizations, forms these relationships in order to give people the opportunity for real help instead of just a night of food.
“I personally have seen the same people who I see every week. There’s another guy I’ve known for four years. There are a couple who were homeless and now they have apartments because we put them in contact with social organizations.”
If you are interested in donating a meal swipe or getting involved with Labre, email: Labre. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Categories: Campus News