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Extra M&G dollars used to help the needy

 by Indra Ekmanis
 published on Thursday, April 24, 2008

<b>DOLLAR DONATIONS:</b> Freshmen Cole Wirpel and Kathryn Scheckel (left) spend Wednesday afternoon outside the Memorial Union getting students to donate food using leftover M&G dollars./issues/news/704972
John Battaglia / THE STATE PRESS
DOLLAR DONATIONS: Freshmen Cole Wirpel and Kathryn Scheckel (left) spend Wednesday afternoon outside the Memorial Union getting students to donate food using leftover M&G dollars.
 

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With hundreds of M&G dollars left on their Sun Cards, two freshmen living on campus are helping students turn their extra M&G dollars into meals for the hungry.

After realizing that many students had significant amounts of surplus M&G dollars a dollar-for-dollar credit that can be used at food service locations on campus Cole Wirpel and Mary Beth Hutchinson organized a food drive as an outlet for the unspent money and a way to help the community.

The two are asking students to donate food to their cause and use up their extra M&G dollars at the same time.

"It became apparent to me that I wasn't going to spend all of my M&G," said Wirpel, who added that together, he and Hutchinson had more than $1,200 to donate.

Most students living on campus are required to purchase a meal plan through ASU's supplier, Aramark. M&G dollars not used by July 31 are "forfeited," according to the Sun Devil Dining Web site.

Wirpel, Hutchinson and volunteers set up a site at the north side of the Memorial Union on Monday and Wednesday where they collected both nonperishable items, as well as fast food from vendors like Chick-fil-A. The drop-off will also be open on Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wirpel said.

Waste Not, a Valley organization that delivers surplus food to the needy, will pick up the perishable food stuffs collected during the event.

Wirpel said during the first two days more than $1,250 in food items was donated.

Hutchinson, a history and religious studies major, said that even though she has been feeding herself, her sister and her sister's boyfriend on her meal plan, she still has "vast amounts" of M&G she would not be able to get rid of without the donation event.

"[I had] $650 left with a concerted effort to spend it," Hutchinson said. "It is so hard, almost impossible to spend it in a reasonable way."

Hutchinson said they considered partnering with an Aramark-sponsored food drive, but decided they could be more productive on their own.

Aramark was unable to comment by press time.

Though they are happy to help the community, Hutchinson and Wirpel both said the extra M&G indicates a need for a meal plan policy change.

"I think that the policy [to buy a meal plan] should be revised," Wirpel said. "College students have enough to worry about financially."

Reach the reporter at: indra.ekmanis@asu.edu.



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