Kristen Curtis, Student Life Editor
While starving student is often a generalized, sometimes comedic term applied to those who buy tonnes of Kraft Dinner at a time or can make a ramen noodle dish like no-one else, the reality is that for some Laurier Brantford students, the issue of where and if next week’s food is going to come from is a real one.
Laurier Brantford has a food bank; and its volunteers are holding monthly events for students. The Wilfrid Laurier University Student’s Union provides non-perishable food items for students who are in need. The student food bank began in 2006 at Laurier’s Waterloo campus and expanded five years ago to include Laurier’s Brantford campus.
Anonymity is a key principle of the food bank; and the process of receiving food is simple. If a student would like food, they fill out a request form on the food bank’s website; then they receive a locker number and combination of where the food would be waiting for them.
Bre Carnes is a fifth year concurrent education student at Laurier Brantford who works as a general volunteer with the student food bank. She acknowledges that students might be hesitant to use the food bank.
“It is a definite possibility, but the Food Bank is run in a way to eliminate that worry,” Carnes said. “It is one hundred percent confidential, private; and students should feel comfortable using this service. Everyone needs food and other supplies and since it is being offered for free, why not take up the offer?”
Each year, the food bank grows in necessity. According to Kathryn Hannam, the Food Bank Coordinator, there were thirty requests for food last semester which is a significant increase compared to past years.
When asked why students use the student food bank, Hannam said, “I would guess that students may be running low on money with the financial burden of university costs, or equally likely is that they simply do not have time to go to the grocery store with their busy schedule.”
Carnes believes that the student food bank is an essential service in supporting students.
“The student food bank is a very important resource for our campus,” Carnes said. “It provides students with food and other important necessities in order to help any student be successful at university. Food Bank is there for all of the Laurier Brantford students and I really hope they put it to good use. Also, come to our giveaways, they are free and a great way to meet new people!
Students that are able to are encouraged to donate food. There is a donation bin inside the front doors of the Student Centre. The student food bank volunteers will also arrange a meeting and pickup time with students who have larger donations.
The student food bank is funded by WLUSU and student donations. A student in need is permitted to use the WLUSU Student food bank three times per term. If food is needed more frequently than that, students can contact the Brantford City Food Bank for assistance.
For upcoming events or how to request food, visit the student food bank Facebook page listed under, “Laurier Brantford Student Food Bank” or visit their website at http://lbsu.ca/services/foodbank.htm .