Every spring, students who participate in declining dollar-debit plans face a dilemma: what to do with unused dollars, which generally can't be rolled over the the following year. The result often is a manic run on the campus store or an end-of-the-year feeding frenzy.
At the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Dining Services has partnered with the school's Undergraduate Assembly to provide students an alternative to the usual "use 'em or lose 'em" ultimatum. Under the plan, students will have the option of using their remaining Penn Dining Dollars to purchase food that would then be donated to local charities like the University City Hospitality Coalition and the Greater Philadelphia Food Bank.
It will work like this. For a twoweek period beginning in late April, the Undergraduate Assembly's Student Life Committee, which designed the program, will bring canned goods and set up collection bins at venues where students typically use their Dining Dollars. Students can then purchase the canned goods with their dollars and drop them into the collection bins as a tangible act of giving.
Penn Dining Services will also provide a matching donation to the amount collected. The program may expand in coming years, depending on the level of interest and participation from U-Penn students.