June 13th, 2024

University breakfast campaign feeding hungry students

By Ry Clarke - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on December 3, 2022.

The University of Lethbridge’s Buy A Student A Breakfast campaign has reached its goal of 1,000 student breakfasts bought.

The campaign runs from Nov. 29 – Dec. 8, with every dollar donated being matched by the university to provide up to 1,000 breakfasts to be distributed to students during the first week of final exams, Dec. 12 – 16. Understanding the key to a good education starts with a good morning meal, the campaign eases the stress of going without food during the academic semester.

“The campaign launched on Giving Tuesday, November 29th, to raise funds from donors which were matched by the university. Additional funds will be donated to the Students Union Food Bank,” said Kathleen Massey, ULethbridge vice-provost – students. “The great news is that we reached our goal, and we will be giving those vouchers out for free breakfasts during the exam period.”

Understanding the impact of the economy and the challenges students face when it comes to school and maintaining finances, the program helps ease the stress.

“It is important to feed our brains when we are doing important academic work,” said Massey. “A study that was done in 2017 showed that 15 per cent of students said they had gone a day without food because they couldn’t afford it. And one-in-four university students admit to having run out of food and not having the resources to buy more. There is a need on our campus, on our university in Lethbridge and the Calgary campus, to help our students to address this food insecurity that exists among our students.”

Hoping to make an impact for those facing food security issues, the university has created programs to help address the issue. Nourish launched in November 2019 as part of an ongoing effort to support food security on campus.

“We have free food pantries, six locations on the Lethbridge campus, and the ULSU helps to keep them stocked,” said Massey. “The program works with us stocking the shelves, and if students are hungry, they can simply take what they need. It preserves their dignity, they don’t have to check with anyone, they can simply take the food and eat.”

With programs geared to helping students focus on their studies while not worrying about putting food on the plate, the Buy a Student a Breakfast campaign will help ease the crunch time of finals.

“It is essential for everyone to have access to nourishing food to perform at their best,” said Massey. “That includes our students and we are doing everything we can to support making sure that they achieve their goals, and eradicating food insecurity is one of those things.”

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