Temple Student Government created a new director seat in the executive branch to help students meet their basic needs this semester.
The executive team appointed AaronRey Ebreo, a senior biology major, to be the director of student basic needs for the academic year.
His job is to create and develop initiatives to help students who are struggling with food and housing insecurities, Ebreo said.
“After seeing how much work last year’s administration did with campus, housing and hunger awareness, I wanted to not only continue those initiatives and bring our own initiatives, but also have a director, because it is a prevalent issue,” said Francesca Capozzi, student body president.
Last year, TSG hosted an information session about student food insecurity and eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and hosted a three-day food drive for the Cherry Pantry.
Ebreo is the founder and president of Swipes for Philadelphia, an organization on campus affiliated with the national Swipe Out Hunger organization.
The organization uses students’ unused meal swipes and other donated items to give to students and people experiencing homelessness throughout the city.
Ebreo previously helped former student body president Gadi Zimmerman finalize the pilot program for students to get emergency meal swipes, Capozzi added.
Ebreo is working to find space on campus to create an emergency clothing closet for students who may be in need of clothing, he said.
“When you go to college you’re supposed to be focusing on studying and it’s hard for some students because they struggle with finances and that affects their access to food, clothes and hygiene [products],” Ebreo said.
He plans to work closely with the CARE team, a team of faculty and administrative personnel who assist students in times of need, Ebreo said.
The CARE team works to support students who may be dealing with temporary difficult life circumstances, including food and housing insecurity, according to its website. Students can reach out to the CARE team for support or be referred by a peer, professor or parent.
“[Ebreo] really has this as a passion area for him, and without his ongoing persistence, [Swipes for Philadelphia] might not have come to fruition,” said Rachael Stark, the senior associate dean of students and CARE team member.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly named Swipe Out Hunger.