By: Lyndsay Charlton
The UPEI Student Union will be opening a second food bank in the Student Centre in early December.
Vice-President Student Life Sarah MacEachern said the SU decided to introduce the service after hearing from students that food security was an issue on campus.
“A common theme we noticed in a few surveys released touched on students asking the SU to do more to combat food security on campus. This year, we had a surplus of money, and it only seemed right to follow what students had been asking for.”
The SU has allotted $4000 for the project, which will include signage, minor renovations to the former Mickey’s Place coffee kiosk, and a fund to replenish the food bank from December until May.
While the SU plans to purchase the food and supplies to fill the food bank, non-perishable food donations are always accepted.
The service will be called SUpplies, Food and Essentials.
UPEI already has one food bank in the Chaplaincy Centre that is open Monday to Friday during the day.
MacEachern is hopeful that the second food bank, which will go in the former coffee kiosk Mickey’s Place, will be more accessible to students.
Campus chaplain Sister Susan Kidd says she is happy to hear that more money is being invested into feeding students.
She has given the SU a list of popular items in food banks, such as peanut butter, jam, spaghetti, rice, noodles, soup, and granola bars.
The second food bank will run on a trial basis and be re-assessed in May.
“The cost of living is high for students, and we hope those who need assistance will check out the new food bank,” says MacEachern.
Survey data from PEI’s Poverty Reduction Action Plan backgrounder indicate that approximately 10% of adult Islanders are food insecure.
Food insecurity can be experienced in many different ways, including not being able to afford balanced meals, worrying your food supply will run out, or cutting out meals.