By Julieanne Acosta, October 23 2022—
Every year, around Halloween, the University of Calgary’s Leadership and Student Engagement office (LSE) hosts Trick-or-Eat — a fundraising event that collects non-perishable goods. All proceeds go towards the Students’ Union (SU) Campus Food Bank and the Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank.
“Food security means different things to different people. For some, that means skipping breakfast to keep costs down, for others that means a lack of access due to transportation or other reasons to healthy food on a regular basis,” read the SU’s website. “Whether it’s an emergency or a chronic issue, nobody should go hungry or have to worry about where their next meal is going to come from.”
Other than the Trick-or-Eat event, the SU Food Bank accepts non-perishable food items and monetary donations through their GoFundMe or via cheques addressed to the SU Campus Food Bank year round.
With rising inflation and general costs of living in Alberta, it is clear that events like this are vital to helping the student population. In a research study conducted by Meal Exchange in 2021 at the U of C, 66.1 per cent of student respondents were facing food insecurity.
Various themes emerged that negatively affected students’ food security — such as food on campus being limited and does not meet the proper needs of students with dietary restrictions, the hours of food vendors not being compatible with student schedules, food on campus being expensive for many students and that the U of C as a building is quite isolated and does not have much access to restaurants or grocery stores off campus or nearby.
In a statement to the Gauntlet, SU Vice-President Student Life Adrian Alcantara talked about the importance of this event for the food banks it supports.
“Trick-or-Eat is a great annual event that supports both the SU Campus Food Bank and the Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank. Food costs are increasing dramatically, as are other student expenses like tuition, fees, and textbooks,” wrote Alcantara. “The Campus Food Bank has seen increased demand since the start of the school year and Trick-or-Eat will really help to keep our shelves stocked with good food for those who need it. Our goal is to bring in over 6,000 pounds of food this year. We encourage the university and surrounding community to make a food or monetary donation this month in support of Food Security Month.”
The event aims to beat the 2010 record of 6,300 pounds of food donated. This year, the event is including a faculty competition — with each faculty soliciting donations from their own communities leading up to the Oct. 27 event — to help raise donations. The faculty that gets the most donations will win a trophy and prizes from Crave Cupcakes.
This year, the event will occur on Oct. 27 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. To learn about items eligible to donate, visit the U of C Trick-or-Eat webpage.