The Goodwill Program was created by the Association of Classified Employees (ACE) in 2003 to provide supplemental meals for Boise State’s lowest paid employees. ACE realized that many of their members were struggling to make ends meet and decided to take a proactive approach by funding supplemental meals for full-time, classified employees who make $13.25 per hour or less. Once a month, eligible employees may submit a Goodwill Program application to receive $32 worth of meals at restaurants on campus.
ACE recognized that with the cost of living increasing in Boise, more individuals are struggling to provide for themselves and their families. Employees who qualify for this program make less than $28,000 annually before taxes and deductions. With rental prices averaging $1,100 a month, this means that nearly half of their pay goes to cover housing costs. Once the cost of utilities, transportation and miscellaneous bills are factored in, there is little subsistence income left for these employees.
Which is why ACE has partnered with organizations and departments around campus to revamp the Goodwill Program to benefit the maximum amount of people. With the support of Dining Services, ACE created several meal plans to get the most out of $32 by providing various meal swipe options at the Boise River Cafe and SouthFork Market. Dining Services also has donated take-away meal containers to participating employees so they can receive two meals for the price of one, and to accommodate night staff who do not have access to campus restaurants during their shifts.
While these steps are exciting, there is still more the campus community can do. Current Goodwill Program contributions through payroll deductions do not fully fund the program. If 700 employees were to donate the minimum $2 per paycheck, their donations would fund 100 percent of the Goodwill grants. With a pledge of $16 a pay period, employees can fully sponsor a colleague.
ACE believes that meals should not be a luxury. To help this program thrive and support other Boise State colleagues, employees can self-manage voluntary payroll deductions via my.Boisestate at PeopleSoft, HR Self Service.