Members of the MacEwan community are coming together to help stock the shelves of The Pantry, a confidential food hamper program for students in need, operated by the Students’ Association of MacEwan University (SAMU).
Any full- or part-time student who applies to the program receives two hampers per month filled with enough non-perishable food for three to five days. This year, the program is facing a higher-than-usual demand. “From August 2018 to June 2019, we gave out 186 hampers. But from September 2019 to January 31 of 2020, we've already given out about 260,” says Aubrianna Snow, SAMU vice-president, Student Life.
Spearheaded by volunteers from across the university, including employees and SAMU executives, a food drive to fill The Pantry is being held throughout the month of February. Staff, faculty, community members and students who have the means to help are invited to contribute.
“We know there are multiple challenges faced by post-secondary students and we have this opportunity to give to our most vulnerable students,” says Nadia Goodhart, a MacEwan employee in the University Relations department, who is leading the initiative. “Some of us have been there and know what it’s like going to classes hungry. It is a way for us to give back and make a difference in the life of someone who may need a little help.”
Though people are invited to donate needed items at any time, each week of the drive will focus on specific items to ensure a variety of options are available, and to bring attention to The Pantry’s greatest needs.
Feb. 10 to 12: Make Every Bean Count
Donations of beans, canned or dried.
Feb. 13 to 14: Spread the Love
Donations of jams and jellies, spreads (e.g., nut butters, cheese spreads) and sauces.
Feb. 17 to 19: Farm to Table
Donations of canned fruits, canned vegetables and canned meat.
Feb. 20 to 21: Breakfast of Champions
Donations of cereal, breakfast bars, coffee and tea.
Feb. 24 to 26: Soup to Nuts
Donations of canned soup, spices, hygiene products, baby food, rice, pasta, snacks and cash.
Feb. 28: Wrap-up Event and Can Display Contest
Work together with your team to assemble a winning can display.
Donations can be made in drop-off boxes across campus, or at The Pantry, located on the second floor of the SAMU building.
For more information on The Pantry’s services, please visit SAMU.ca/Pantry.
We acknowledge that the land on which we gather in Treaty Six Territory is the traditional gathering place for many Indigenous people. We honour and respect the history, languages, ceremonies and culture of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit who call this territory home.