Hofstra Student Starts Platform To Feed Campus Community
An over-packed course load, a plethora of extra-curricular activities, maintaining a social life, working a part-time job and trying to earn a degree in four years are just some of the struggles that college students face on a daily basis. Somewhere in each student’s jam-packed schedule, they must find a way to afford food every day while adjusting to the rising price of college tuition. Over 41 million people in the United States are affected by hunger, and this epidemic extends to every college campus – even Hofstra. One Hofstra student is working diligently to combat this issue so students can “worry about getting degrees, not grumbling tummies.”
Lynn Luong, a junior computer science major at Hofstra, is the genius behind the organization GoFeedMe, which works to eliminate hunger and food insecurity on campuses all over the United States. She found the inspiration for this initiative after hearing one too many students complaining over not having enough money for food on campus.
“I started it my sophomore year spring semester. Literally everyone was telling me that they’re broke and they have nowhere to go, and it makes no sense when I have all of these freshman friends with $2,000 on their meal card and they don’t know what to do with it,” Luong explained.
“Basically, GoFeedMe is a platform that we provide for college students to come on who have a lot of meal points to match with people who don’t have a lot of meal points,” Luong said. “It’s pretty sad because a lot people expect that if you can pay for college, then you can pay for food.”
Students can connect to GoFeedMe through the GoFeedHofstra page on Facebook. The page requires that students provide a school email to verify membership in the community. From there, students can post in the group asking for someone to spot them at a specific time or at a specific eatery on campus and a student with an ample amount of meal credit can come to that place. Students looking to use meal points can also post their location to help those in need.
GoFeedMe also operates through a process similar to Tinder. Students can fill out a form from the GoFeedMe website in order to be matched with a specific student to purchase or receive food.
Luong explained that the immediate success of the organization was overwhelming.
“I started the group and then I made some rules, and then I started adding people and then it just started blowing up. This was literally in the last two weeks of school, so there was no time to grow.”
Now, just one year after the organization was founded, it continues to develop and spread.
“This is unique to each school, which is a huge selling point. We just expanded to NYU and also Stony Brook,” she said.
Luong, along with her creative team, worked diligently throughout last summer to establish a website to help spread the word.
“As of right now, it’s really difficult for us to expand and to get people on board and market correctly to Hofstra because there are so many new people and there are actually only three of us on the team trying to push this out,” Luong explained.
“We are looking for people who really want to help out,” she said. “It really does appeal to a lot of careers and majors that we have at Hofstra.”
Although Luong will be graduating next year, she hopes that her organization will continue to flourish and expand.
“I hope that by the end of this year we are able to perfect Hofstra’s model and then package it and then start hiring more ambassadors from other universities. In 20 years down the line, I hope that this is a club on campus and students want to be a part of it – something that brings the community together.”
Students interested in learning more about GoFeedMe at Hofstra or getting further involved can visit gofeedme.wixsite.com/gofeedme.