If you haven’t heard about it before, the ASU Food Cupboard is a new resource available to Acadia students that provides emergency food support. With the help of around 25 wonderful volunteers, we run 5 days a week for around 6-8 hours each day.
The issue of food insecurity is one that is not readily discussed. In Nova Scotia alone, over 15% of people experience food insecurity and that number continues to rise yearly. If we narrow in on students specifically, we see even higher numbers. While students are struggling to keep up with rising tuition costs and an increasing cost of living, food gets put last on the list of “necessities”. In 2015, Dr. Lesley Frank, an Associate Professor for the Department of Sociology, conducted a survey that revealed 38.1% of Acadia students have experienced some level of food insecurity in the past year.
In early 2017, former ASU President Grace Hamilton-Burge had a discussion with Dr. Frank regarding the high degree of students at Acadia who consider themselves food-insecure. This conversation started many more discussions regarding the issue. By September of last year, several members of the ASU Students Representative Council including George Philp, Samantha Nixon, Payton Wood, Justin King, and Connor Sheehan began compiling ideas on how to improve food security on campus. In six short but very vital months, the ASU Food Cupboard was formed.
The ASU Food Cupboard aims to reduce the negative stigma around food insecurity by creating an open and friendly environment for students to come for food and living supplies. The resource can be found on the Mezzanine level of the Acadia Student Union Building, room 508. If you ever wish to volunteer with the resource, require access to the room, or if you have any questions at all, please direct them to Caitlin Sanderson at [email protected]. You can also find us on Facebook @ASUFoodCupboard.
Caitlin Sanderson is a fifth year Nutrition student and Coordinator of the ASU Food Cupboard