By: Lindsey Hargett, Communications Intern
The University of Delaware Parking services has partnered with the Food Bank of Delaware to raise money to help feed the Delaware community. A blue and yellow parking meter, now called Donation Station, sits outside of the parking services office in the Perkins Student Center. This revamped meter has been in place since January 1, 2016 and will be stationed there for the foreseeable future.
The inspiration for the meter came from others in the parking industry, said Jennifer Sparks, the manager of parking services. Parking services departments in other states have used donation meters to help support charities; UD’s parking services thought this would be a great addition to their partnership with the Food Bank.
“We partner with the Food Bank on Cans for Sites, but when this idea came up at a meeting, we all thought it was a excellent idea to spread the word about hunger in Delaware,” said Sparks.
Cans for Sites is Parking Services’ annual holiday food drive. Each non-perishable food item donated count as $5 towards the cost of an on-campus parking citation that is less than 30 days old. Over the past two years more than 12,000 pounds have been collected. The meter is currently in Perkins, but will hopefully be moved around to different areas on campus. Depending on the success of this meter, parking services is considering the possibility of placing a second meter in Trabant University Center.
“The people who already know about the meter think adding a new one is a great idea, but we want to see how this donation station does in [Perkins] before we add another,” said Sparks.
Everyone on the parking services staff had a hand in getting donation station up and running. According to Sparks, workers went out and found an acceptable meter to use while the office staff decorated the meter with school spirited blue and yellow and some handled the finance part of it all.
“Everyone pitched in and helped to get the meter up and running quickly,” said Sparks. The parking meter accepts coins, debit cards and credit cards. Parking services plans to send the donations from the meter to the Food Bank on a monthly basis.