UVic students lean on in-house food bank

Food bank usage up 100 per cent since 2010, say organizers; MLA Rob Fleming highlights need with annual donation

Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming drops off a load of food for the University of Victoria Student Society Food Bank

Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming drops off a load of food for the University of Victoria Student Society Food Bank

The old cliché of the starving student is anything but passé at the University of Victoria, where the number of registered users has doubled at the UVic Student Society Food Bank since 2010.

The food bank, which recorded 3,750 visits from UVic students in 2014, was paid a visit Wednesday by local MLA Rob Fleming, who was UVSS chair in 1998. Fleming dropped off a load of food to the food bank’s smallish quarters below the Student Union Building on Wednesday (Jan. 7) afternoon.

“When I was at UVic, the food bank was in its infancy. It wasn’t much more than a shelf,” Fleming said. “It was a few students registering their hardships and that was all, nothing like the organized system they’re using now.”

UVSS chair Kayleigh Erickson said the food bank’s rapid increase in demand is the result of growing financial strains on undergrad and graduate students.

“There are no needs-based grant programs for students in B.C., the only province without it, and we have the highest student interest loan of any province,” Robertson said.

“Add to that the university is considering raising student resident fees up to 13 per cent for next year.”

With that in mind, Fleming has makes a point each January of bringing in a load of food collected during a local NDP holiday gathering. This is the fifth year Fleming has helped out.

The food bank is keeping up for now with two weekly deliveries from Thrifty Foods and a weekly budget around $1,500. Items in high demand are typical for Victoria, says co-ordinator Sam Scott.

“Fresh fruit and veggies, eggs, almond or rice milk and gluten free options are hot items,” he said.

Delivery day sees $1,000 worth of food run in and out within seven hours of operation.

Most food comes from Thriftys but Scott is now ordering from wholesale distributor Gordon Food Services and also receives veggies and fruit in the Good Food Box through the Fernwood Neighbourhood Resource Group.

“We have a lot of programs on campus, such as Stocktober, which brought in 1,000 pounds of food, but no matter how much we get, it all goes out,” said food bank assistant Jasmine Robertson.

Email foodbank@uvss.ca to inquire about food or cash donations.

reporter@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The Victoria woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Anita Troop officially turns 100 on Sunday and cards are pouring in from around the world. (Courtesy Marina Miller)
Cards roll in from around the world for West Shore 100 year old

About 100 cards have come for the woman who turns 100 on Sunday

A cardboard man bearing Queen Elizabeth II’s royal cipher has been placed in a window at the Royal Theatre for at least several days. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)
Mysterious cardboard figure appears in Victoria’s Royal Theatre window

The identity of the figure, which was moved there amid cleaning, remains unknown

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read