Cash-strapped students in Moncton can now turn to a food bank at the University of Moncton to help get them through tough times.
The university’s student federation, with the assistance of the Food Depot Alimentaire, has opened a food bank that will be open two days a week.
Pascal Haché, the president of the student federation, said the project started when they learned that many students were calling Moncton food banks for help but often could not get a ride to the depots to pick up food.
“With the cost of everything today, the cost of education, the cost of apartments, it is a burden that is very heavy on their backs. A lot of students are choosing if they are going to pay their heating bill at the end of the month or buy groceries,” he said.
“I think that is the reality of today. Not all students have laptops, not all students have a car, not all students have iPhones…. People think that we are well off and we have all of the money that we want. But it is not the truth.”
The food bank is located in a basement room, a move that will allow for greater privacy.
The food bank will be open on Tuesdays and Fridays for about three hours. They will be handed a bag with non-perishable groceries that are designed to offer enough food for breakfast, lunch and supper for three days.
There is no limit to how many times a month that a student can visit the food bank. Haché said the federation is more concerned about finding out how great the need is on campus.
When students walk into the room, they fill out a form that will help provide statistics for the student federation.
There will also be an opportunity to alert the students to other services offered on campus, which they may be interested in accessing.
Along with assistance from of the Food Depot Alimentaire, donation bins have been set up on campus and community help is also accepted.
The idea of adding a fridge to the food bank is also being considered, Haché said, so students could also receive vegetables.