Student and Academic Life

Application Now Open for UK’s Swipe Ahead Program

Dining Hall.
Mark Cornelison | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 2, 2020) — The University of Kentucky Center for Support and Intervention (CSI), in partnership with the university's student chapter of Universities Fighting World Hunger, has launched the Swipe Ahead Program for the current academic year. First offered at UK in 2018 as part of a larger effort to alleviate students’ unmet needs, the Swipe Ahead Program will allow students to apply to receive meal swipes for the current academic term. 

“College students can have many unique basic needs that traditional community and government programs don’t serve. The Swipe Ahead Program is able to fill in some of those gaps of service unique to college students,” said Therese Yeiser Smith, director of CSI.

"The ability to award meal swipes allows a student to visit Champions Kitchen or the Fresh Food Company at The 90 and get a fresh and hot meal,” Arion Jett-Seals, Basic Needs program coordinator, added. “College students are not often eligible for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and when living in a campus residence hall without access to a full kitchen, a referral to the Big Blue Pantry or God's Pantry is not always the fitting resource in helping to alleviate food insecurity."

To apply for the program, students must be currently enrolled at the university. 

Applications are reviewed and processed each Wednesday. Students whose applications have been accepted will receive email confirmation of their approval and swipes will be awarded by Friday.

Once awarded, meal swipes may only be used on campus at UK Dining locations where swipes are accepted. This includes Champions Kitchen in the Gatton Student Center, the Fresh Food Company at The 90, and the other limited retail dining locations outlined on the UK Dining website. 

Awarded swipes are good for the current academic term only and do not “save” or transfer to spring semester from the fall semester for instance.

Initial application review and approval grants a student a limited number of swipes, usually no more than 10. If a student feels they need more, they are asked to meet with a CSI staff member. 

To access the application, click here.

If a student experiencing food insecurity is not able to benefit from the Swipe Ahead program, they should fill out the report form on the CSI website so that a staff person may meet with them to review other resources and options. Students experiencing food insecurity are also encouraged to visit the Big Blue Pantry, UK’s student food pantry, located in the basement of the White Hall Classroom Building.  

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.