When freshman Aaron Rey saw another student carrying almost 20 boxes of cereal out of Morgan Hall, he was curious. So he asked the student how he he was able to get all the extra food. It turns out he had used his extra meal swipes to accumulate all that extra food.
“He said he was probably going to sell it or keep it for himself,” Rey said.
From there, an idea was born. Rey has has 25 meals swipes per week through his dining plan at Temple, and uses only 16 of them. So for the past two months, Rey has used those extra swipes to gather and distribute non-perishable items to homeless people around Center City.
“We have a lot of opportunities as college students, and we should give back to the less fortunate. We have been blessed with a ton of resources,” Rey said when asked about why he continues.
The idea has spawned from Rey doing it on his own time to rallying to students to help him out. Every weekend, he posts on his Facebook Page, Swipes for Philadelphia (https://www.facebook.com/groups/SwipesForPhiladelphia/). Students will use their extra meal swipes, meet up with Rey, and go into the city.
“Being in a city where there’s a lot of homeless people, I think its nice for us college students and young people to take action,” said Freshman Joshua Lacerna, who has helped Rey since the project’s conception.
Rey plans to set up a website soon. This will allow students to sign up to be group leaders and go into the city on their own. With this addition, Rey homes the project can spread to other campus around the country, and all over the world.
Rey has given out hundreds of boxes of cereal, bottled milk and water. He says just seeing his recipients reaction is enough for him.
“There’s joy in their faces, and that’s a beautiful thing.”