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Food bank fundraiser remedies shortage of food and supplies

By Stephanie Tang, October 16 2014 —

A successful fundraiser gave the Students’ Union (SU) Food Bank a boost after shortages threatened the emergency relief program.

The fundraiser, #food4gratitude, was a joint effort between the SU and University of Calgary Parking Services. Students who donated two non-perishable food items were given free parking in Lot 10 on Oct. 10, from 6:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

SU Food Bank coordinators Ruth Moges and Amy Milton were grateful for the outpour of support.

“We got some of our most needed items which is great,” Moges said. “We got some gluten-free items, Ichiban noodles which we needed, and we got some canned pasta.”

The SU Food Bank provides food and household items to students, alumni and faculty. Hampers filled with food are handed out on a case-by-case basis, using information provided by clients. The SU Food Bank is mandated to help everyone, regardless of their circumstances.

“Our hampers are based on the Canada food guide, so we do want to be able to give our clients enough variety, and also be able to cater the hampers to any dietary restrictions that they have,” Milton said. Moges said that they have lists for making gluten-free and vegetarian hampers.

There has been an increase in the number of students requesting hampers from the food bank, which led to the shortages.

Milton said the SU Food Bank handed out to 27 hampers this September compared to 12 hampers last September.

Moges and Milton both said the higher cost of living and increasing tuition fees could have led to increased demand.

They’ve been working to raise awareness of the food bank’s services. Initiatives like the breakfast program — which serves a free breakfast to students every Tuesday and Wednesday morning — help expose students to the food bank.

“It’s not necessarily them asking for help when you need it, but rather we’re there offering help. It’s kind of an in-between between the services,” Milton said.

Along with the breakfast program, the SU Food Bank runs Adopt-A-Family and the holiday food drive.

Milton said the fundraiser was an effort to encourage student involvement.

“It’s not only a case of fundraising for the campus food bank. It’s really about creating that sense of campus community, having students get together, working towards a common goal,” Milton said.

The SU Food Bank is still accepting donations. Contributions can be dropped off at Volunteer Services.


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