It’s just the beginning of the school year but the University of British Columbia’s food bank coordinator Taruni Singh is already thinking about how many donations are needed to sustain the on-campus organization for the upcoming months.
“(The food bank) is a very important for students because school is so expensive and Vancouver is so expensive. Anything helps,” Singh tells Daily Hive.
While a university campus may seem like an unlikely place for a food bank, many students rely on the service for support.
Last year, Singh says the food bank saw over 800 visits from September 2015 to April 2016.
All students with a valid UBC card are permitted to access the food bank. Individuals are allowed up to six visits within the semester in order to ensure there are sufficient supplies.
“We get a wide range (of students) but for a lot of people, (the food bank) is mainly there to supplement them or to help them cut down costs,” Singh said.
Visitors range from older graduate students with families to international students.
Singh tries her best to make sure that there is a variety of food and supplies up for grabs. Just recently she started bringing in fresh produce, which has become very popular amongst food bank visitors.
Save-On-Foods, Vancouver ecoVillage, London Drugs, and the Orchard Garden supply the UBC food bank with various food items but Singh says donations are the most important factor to keep the service running.
“Sometimes people give us a lot, sometimes we don’t get too much,” Singh said.
Some items that are in constant demand at the food bank include dried pasta, cereal, oats, sauces, and condiments.
The food bank also welcomes toiletry items, feminine hygiene products, and baby food.
Currently, the UBC food bank is decently stocked, but in the coming months– when mid-term and finals season arrive– more donations will be needed.
“For us, donations are super important,” said Singh.
To find out more about the UBC food bank or to donate, be sure to visit their website for more information.