David Fischer, team lead, student recruitment and MacEwan alumnus, with one of several green SAMU Student Food Bank drop-off bins located across campus.

A decade later: The difference SAMU’s Student Food Bank makes

March 29, 2019 | Campus Life
I was shaking and on the verge of tears when I walked up to the SAMU office near the end of the Winter semester looking for the Student Food Bank.

The friend I was living with unexpectedly raised the rent to cover his mortgage and it took all of my food budget to pay the difference. I was broke. The cupboards were empty. The good food had been eaten and even the things I could throw together to make something barely edible were gone. There was nothing left.

I was a good student. I was part of the ambassador program and had pretty high expectations of myself. I couldn’t believe that I needed to ask for help.

But the experience itself was completely non-judgmental and non-stigmatizing. The person at the food bank made sure I was okay, asked me to fill out a form, and handed over a big box of food. The feeling of relief was incredible.

A decade later, I know that my financial struggle back then is a very common story. When you’re living on a student loan, paying your tuition, buying books and paying rent, sometimes food is the last thing on your mind. But how are you supposed to function – and learn – when you’re not getting the nutrition you need? That’s why services like the Student Food Bank exist.

If you’re having a problem, whether it’s food or money or mental health or your grades, you're definitely not the first student to have that problem – you're probably not even the tenth or even the hundredth person to have it. And odds are that we have someone, if not a whole team of people, whose job it is to address the thing you’re struggling with.

As MacEwan University recruiters, we tell high school students that the people at MacEwan are here to make sure you succeed. Talk to someone – a prof you trust, an advisor, or the staff at the Welcome Centre. We can’t necessarily wave a magic wand and make all of your problems disappear, but we can definitely help.

– David Fischer, Team Lead, Student Recruitment

Students can access the Student Food Bank, offered through the Students’ Association of MacEwan University (SAMU), twice a month and hampers are available in regular, vegetarian, gluten free, vegan and no-pork options.

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