It’s really easy to overspend on groceries without realizing it! Take a look at your budget and see if your grocery bill is making it hard to meet your budgeting goals. If you’re not sure what an appropriate amount is to spend on food, use a food bank hamper as a guideline. Generally, a food basket is worth $30 and is good for four days. This works out to $7.50 a day. Multiply this by 30 days (one month) which brings us to $225. Keeping in mind that a food basket is to help supplement groceries and doesn’t include cooking oils, spices, and many perishables, we can say the average single student can reasonably spend approximately $300 to $350 on groceries per month. Of course this number will change depending on family size. To help relate to these numbers, if you buy a bagel and coffee every morning during the week, your bagel and coffee will eat up 25% - 30% of your grocery budget!
We sat down with Cory Hodgson, Campus Food Bank Executive Director, and Madi Corry, Programs Manager, to learn more about this on-campus service.
What is the Campus Food Bank and how does it support students?
We are a non-profit charity on campus that supports the campus community by providing food hampers to those in need. Our food hampers contain mostly non-perishable items including soups, canned meats, pasta, sauce, rice, and some perishable items like produce. If requested, you can also receive hygiene products, some toiletries, and diapers. Our food hampers are meant to supplement your groceries and are good for about four or five days. Incorporate the Campus Food Bank (CFB) into your budget if you are facing a shortfall. If using the CFB will allow you to buy your textbooks this semester, that’s what our service is here for!
Who can access the Campus Food Bank?
All members of the campus community including students, staff, faculty, and alumni who have graduated within the last five years can access the CFB. All family members of the household can also access the CFB.
Where is the Campus Food Bank located?
We are located in SUB 1-81, next to the elevators. We share a space with the Academic Success Centre.
How can I utilize your services?
Using the Campus Food Bank is easy! Simply visit our website and schedule a client registration appointment where we will gather demographic information. If you identify yourself as in need of our service and you are part of the university community, we are here to help you.
How often can someone use the Campus Food Bank?
You can use the CFB often as you need to, but a maximum of once every two weeks.
Are there opportunities to get involved with the Campus Food Bank?
There are three main streams to get involved with the CFB. The first is our office volunteer program where students volunteer two hours per week helping organize hampers. The application opens at the start of each semester. We also need people to help with our major events, such as Trick or Treat. Lastly, we encourage students and staff to organize their own food drives within their student groups, church, or offices. We rely on these food drives to ensure we can support everyone in need.
Tell me about the WECAN Food Basket Program that is coming back to campus this year? Who can utilize this program?
WECAN is a low cost, high quality, bulk purchasing program. Due to the high volume of people buying food, we are able to purchase it at a reduced rate without compromising quality. WECAN, through the CFB, is available to anyone within the university community and you do not need to be a CFB client to use it. Through a $5 membership fee, you have access to a $15 meat order that consists of three varieties of meat and/or a $10 produce order that consists of three kinds of fruit and three kinds of vegetables. The best part is your order is delivered right to campus! You can place as many orders as you want.
We encourage all members of the campus community to be part of this program. More information can be found on our website at https://campusfoodbank.com/wecan.