BY MATT LINSEMAN
Food prices and students don’t make a good mix. Many students already require financial assistance and, with rising food prices, this only makes it harder to put quality food on the table.
I think with the recent increases in the price of food the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) should give students more money to cover these rising costs.
I know that maintaining a student budget is already tough enough with the cost of tuition, buying textbooks and paying any other fees that come up unexpectedly. This doesn’t even include students who live on their own who have monthly rent payments, possibly weekly fill-ups on gas if they own a vehicle and, of course, the almighty grocery bill.
With cauliflower up astronomically and meats and cereal prices skyrocketing as well, it’s becoming extremely difficult for students to pay for basic groceries and standard meals.
Many students wish they had the wiggle room in their budget for an ideal diet – one that consists of healthy and fresh foods. Instead, many students are looking for the lowest prices and the best deals. The items that are on sale are usually processed foods that are made cheaply with little to no nutritional value. Some of these foods are even bad for those eating them and could have both short-term and long-term effects on the consumer.
Some students skip meals, breakfast for example, to both save money and avoid having to buy processed foods. This isn’t the answer, of course, but students don’t have other options.
On the other hand, some students spend their OSAP money on things like new clothes, alcohol or fancy tech gadgets. These are the types of students who give all post-secondary students a bad name because it makes it seem like every student doesn’t take their financial aid seriously and just wastes it. However, these students are the exception, not the rule, as most students are struggling and are just trying to meet their financial obligations. For the most part, they are not spending their OSAP funding carelessly, so an extra handout from OSAP would go a long way.