By Julieanne Acosta, December 11 2022—
The Students’ Union (SU) Campus Food Bank has announced the return of their holiday food hampers. The holiday hampers will be available upon request, with the last day to request on December 12.
In a statement to the Gauntlet, campus food bank coordinator Thomas Tri talked about the importance of the holiday hampers for students.
“We notice that during the holidays — approaching Christmas — there is an uptake on demand for food hampers. It makes sense, considering that people are coming together and celebrating the holidays,” wrote Tri. “Additionally, during this time, personal finances are tight because of budgeting for Christmas gifts. Because of these reasons, we wanted to provide a holiday hamper to ensure that our clients have adequate and ample food to sustain the holiday season. In the holiday spirit as well, we want to ensure that everyone can enjoy time with family and friends without financial stress.”
The holiday hampers include special holiday favourite foods and just last year, 38 students requested holiday hampers. Students can request the holiday hamper as an add-on to a regular food hamper or as a stand-alone hamper. The SU Campus Food Bank packs its food hampers with nutritionally balanced foods, but the hampers are subject to availability and donations.
“Students can play a large role by donating canned and dry goods to the campus food bank. There is a donation bin in front of the information/lost and found centre in Mac Hall. We also receive donations here at Volunteer Services, also in Mac Hall. Students can also give monetary donations through our GoFundMe,” wrote Tri.
With food insecurity at an all-time high for students, Tri encourages the campus community to educate themselves on what it really means. Food security can mean a variety of different things to people, but Tri notes the importance of being able to recognize it.
“More importantly, we encourage students to learn more about what food security means. Food security can look like struggling to concentrate in class because of skipping breakfast. It can also look like struggling to access the nearest grocery store because of commute barriers. The meaning of food security is so broad and vast, and it is critical to recognize that food security can look different to different people,” wrote Tri.
To donate to the SU Campus Food Bank, drop off donations to the Information/Lost Centre in MacEwan Student Centre. For monetary donations, visit the SU Campus Food Bank 2022-2023 GoFundMe or mail cheques to the SU’s main address which can be found at www.su.ucalgary.ca/contact/.