Swipe Out Hunger

A donor-donee matching app allowing students to share swipes with those struggling from food insecurity


Firebase, React Native, iOS, Android, Twilio

NPOs involved

Swipe Out Hunger


Michael Wu, Natalia Luzuriaga, Vivek Menon, Sriram Balachandran, Kevin Zhang, Dean Jones


Almost 40% of college students experience hunger and lack stable housing, and that number is surely higher in light of COVID-19. Considering the normal factors of rising tuition costs, limited financial aid, and dangerous student loans, it's no surprise that many students frequently put other needs before nutrition.

Swipe Out Hunger, founded by a group of friends at UCLA in 2010 to address campus food insecurity, is a leading nonprofit nationwide spanning more than 120 colleges and having served 2 million meals to date. Each campus does things a bit differently, but the original UCLA Swipe Out Hunger has various events and programs operating each quarter (e.g. the recently established Bruin Dine collects leftover food from dining halls and allows anyone to select a portion) before concluding with a swipes drive.


The drive is aimed at convincing all students with leftover swipes for the quarter to donate to the Economic Crisis Response Team (ECRT), where swipes are converted to 1:1 meal vouchers for food-insecure students to collect in the future. These efforts are often very productive, as many students end up with extra meals at the quarter's end and would like to see them go to a good cause rather than otherwise being wasted.

Unfortunately, the ECRT meal vouchers have certain criteria before recipients can qualify for them, and for many students, significant stigma is still associated with visiting the ECRT and seeking help.


Nova is currently working with UCLA Swipe Out Hunger on a donor-donee matching app, allowing Bruins to directly meet with each other at any of the campus dining halls or takeout places and share swipes with those who need them.

The goals behind this solution are multi-faceted:

  • The app will have little to no restrictions on who qualifies to be a donee, encouraging all who need a swipe to ask for one. To sign up for the app one must be a UCLA student though, making this a Bruin-secure endeavor.
  • We hope that this app will increase awareness of the food insecurity issue and compassion towards other students as a more consistent activity than a one-time end-of-quarter donation of meal swipes. Our ideal vision would be for some donors and donees to become friends, or at least grow closer together.
  • In the future, the app will have a Resources feature with both real-time and long-running food resources. Campus events frequently have leftovers and offer them through social media announcements, but the app could centralize this information. Many Bruins are also unaware of programs like Bruin Dine, highlighting this need.
  • Acknowledgements

    We would like to thank Celina Lee from UCLA Swipe Out Hunger for discussions that have aided the development of this project.

    © 2023 Nova for Good

    Last updated September 12th, 2023


    our team

    for students

    join the team

    for nonprofits

    work with us