Students' Union Food Bank always in need of support
The University of Lethbridge Students’ Union has a number of services that assist in allowing students to focus on their studies.
Understanding the financial constraints involved in obtaining a post-secondary education, and the difficulty in making ends meet, the ULSU is helping students alleviate the pressure of food insecurity by offering the ULSU Food Bank.
“The Students’ Union Food Bank is one of the most widely used resources we offer on campus,” says Shuna Talbot, ULSU vice-president internal. “Unfortunately, going to school is expensive and that leaves a lot of students with less money to cover costs for food, rent and other necessities.”
All current students, faculty and staff of the University of Lethbridge are eligible to access the food bank. The food bank has a wide range of users and everyone has a different story; whether it is a delay with a student loan, an emergency situation, unexpected expenses or other budgeting issues, the ULSU Food Bank is there to help.
The ULSU Food Bank is a not-for-profit service, but it is also a limited resource dependent on donations. The food bank can be accessed twice a month to a maximum of 10 visits in an academic career. Every October, the Students’ Union hosts the Feed or Famine Food Drive, which pits student clubs against each other in a challenge to collect food bank donations. It’s a friendly competition where clubs select an area of Lethbridge and go door to door to collect food bank donations. The clubs visit homes in Lethbridge and leave a notice that they will come back on a designated day and collect non-perishable food items.
This year, over the course of seven days at the end of October (Oct. 29 through Nov. 4), the Feed or Famine Food Drive crowned the Trolls Rugby Club as the winner of the challenge after they collected the most non-perishable food items.
The Trolls were awarded $300 for their win, followed by the Pre-Med club ($200) and the Geography club ($100). A total of 2,476 non-perishable food items were collected and club participation was up from the previous year.
“We are in constant need of donations, due to the increasing amount of students who access the food bank every year,” says Talbot. “We continually have to replenish the food supply due to the high demand.”