Student-Powered Hunger Relief

Points for a Purpose

, December 19th, 2013


As their final quarter wound down last spring, Bryan Berger and Dean Meisel witnessed waste on Northwestern University’s campus – but not with food: students were wasting meal points. A mutual friend of theirs had a ton of points left on her meal plan and bought the two lots and lots of food. But Bryan and Dean were leaving Evanston themselves in a few short days, so they donated their spoils to a food pantry. And with that action, an idea was born: Bryan and Dean wanted to encourage Northwestern University students to buy non-perishables with their extra meal points, which would then be donated to a local organization.

This fall, Bryan and Dean met with nuCuisine, Northwestern University’s dining service provider, to share their idea. Much to their surprise and delight, nuCusine wanted to take things a step further. Rather than have students purchase goods with their points, they would allow students to donate their points directly to the Campus Kitchen at Northwestern University (CKNU). In turn, CKNU would use the points to purchase food in bulk. Points for a Purpose was born. With just days to go before the end of the quarter, Bryan and Dean came up with a targeted outreach plan and began informing their classmates about their fundraiser.

In two weeks’ time, Points for a Purpose raised $1,245.87  for CKNU, all of which will be used to purchase bulk food items. This quick but extremely successful fundraiser not only provided food for CKNU’s operations, it also greatly raised awareness of the organization on Northwestern’s campus. In fact, the entire event was so popular, nuCuisine and CKNU are discussing options for holding it again.

Thank you, Bryan and Dean, for lending your energy and enthusiasm to CKNU! We are thrilled at your success.

Points for a Purpose is a chapter of Swipes for the Homeless, which works with campuses to translate donated meal plans into food, which they then deliver to agencies serving the homeless and hungry.

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