By Nikayla Goddard, October 21 2020—
Following closure over the summer due to COVID-19, the Students’ Union (SU) Food Bank has been open since the start of the fall semester and is in need of a restock. The SU has announced a month-long Students’ Union Campus Fall Harvest Food Drive, inviting the community to donate non-perishables or cash to assist students who struggle with food security amidst paying for their education during the COVID-economic crisis.
SU vice-president student life Assad Ali Bik gave details about the food drive campaign, which entails heavy social media posting and promotion as well as a monetary goal of $2,500 in mind through a Go Fund Me page. Every day the SU posts a different tip on how people can get involved and get help.
“Every year we have a different sort of food drive and we have different initiatives that we do and this year, in a COVID world, we’re restricted by what we can do,” he said. “This year we have this month-long harvest, and it basically has two purposes. Number one is to have people who want to help be able to learn how to help […] but the other side of it, and this just as equally important, is letting students know that we are open.”
Between COVID-19, the rise in tuition and many students being without jobs this summer and fall, Ali Bik predicts an increase in usage at the food bank.
“I foresee a need for alleviation on food security, because food security is always an issue with students, but in a year as such where coronavirus has really affected students’ lives in ways that we can’t even imagine because of everyone’s unique lived experiences, we want to ensure that there is enough for as many students as needed,” he said.
Monetary donations can be made through the Go Fund Me page and non-perishables can be dropped off at the donation box between 8:30am and 5:00pm in MacEwan Hall by the Info Centre.
“For anyone who needs help, we are open, and we are more than happy to help. For all those who want to help, we are more than happy to facilitate that help,” Ali Bik concluded.
More information on the SU Food Bank can be found on their website, including how to request a food hamper. A valid campus ID is required to access the Campus Food Bank services (Unicard, staff ID card or current paystub), and clients may access the service a maximum of three times per Fall Semester, three times per Winter Semester, one time per Spring Semester and one time per Summer Semester with a minimum of 30 days between request periods required.