Campus food bank use increases

BY MELISSA HORTON

In a school of more than 45,000 busy students, it’s hard to make sure every student knows of all the services offered by the college.

To get the word out, Conestoga Students Inc.’s Food Support services relies on class presentations and word of mouth to pass on the information about what they have to offer.

So, what is it that they offer students? Laurita Martynowski, Campus Service co-ordinator said, “The food bank is an emergency relief hamper program, providing students with a hamper that will support a student’s emergency food needs, lasting approximately 3-5 days.”

“Students have the opportunity to select additional toiletry items and specialty food items in addition to the hamper,” she said.

Use of the food bank hamper service was extremely popular last year, causing a doubling in usage from the previous year.

“We have seen a dramatic increase in the amount of hampers that are distributed from the CSI Food Bank compared to previous years,” said Martynowski. “Hampers distributed in September doubled what was distributed in the same month in 2016. Hampers distributed last June, July and August also increased dramatically compared to other years.”

However, even with a service so open and readily available to students, the word is not completely out there yet.

“I didn’t even know we had a food bank service,” said Gabrielle Edwards, a first-year bachelor of applied health information services student at Conestoga College.

Despite the increase in use of the service, many students remain unaware of what the campus food bank has to offer. Edwards suggests that reaching out directly to students might help get the word out.

“I think they could do a lot of advertising for it with posters in the school and everything, or maybe a posting on the school’s website or a mass email to students,” she said.

The food bank is available at all Conestoga College campuses during regular business hours throughout the school year. You can visit the Doon campus food bank located in Room 2A119 or contact the campus services co-ordinator at 519-748-5131, ext 3582.

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Spoke Online is produced weekly during the school year by Conestoga College second-year journalism print students, faculty adviser Christina Jonas and new media technologist Michael Toll.