UNB Saint John program aims to fight student food insecurity: ‘It’s a major issue’ – New Brunswick

Food-insecure students at the UNB St. John campus can benefit from a student-led initiative that provides food bags to those in need on a bi-weekly basis.

“Without food, students can’t focus in school. It’s hard to stay on top of their challenges and give their best,” said Angel Côté, wellness coordinator at the UNB St. John’s Student Representative Council, on Friday.

“We wanted to focus on food insecurity, which is a big problem facing students on campus.”

Students can sign up online, indicate any dietary restrictions or allergies, and receive food bags at the Student Resource Center the following week.

Coté said 30 students have already enrolled in the program, and the university’s alumni association covers the costs.

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Sylvain Charlebois, Director of the Dalhousie University Agro-Food Analysis Lab, is working on research into food insecurity on campuses in Atlantic Canada.

“We are aware that more and more students are visiting food banks these days just because of the price of food. Food affordability has been a problem across the Atlantic,” he said in an interview Saturday. rice field.

Beyond the price of groceries, he said access to affordable food can be a problem for students living on campus because they can’t go to grocery stores.

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He said international students may be particularly vulnerable to food insecurity.

“They may be from countries whose currencies are crashing and are not doing well, so they don’t have as much money to spend in Canada as they used to,” Charlebois said.

He said his study, due to be completed in June, will also look at the effectiveness of student-led initiatives and those managed by university administrators.

Côté hopes more students will take advantage of the program.

“In the future, it could be 50, 100, or more.”

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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