Affordable and nutritious food on a budget 

Lea Krusemeyer (She/Her)  //  Staff Writer
Chelle Lussi (any) // Staff Illustrator


With the Holidays coming up, ads and pictures of tables full of food are everywhere. From the traditional turkey to mashed potatoes or creative vegetarian options, there is food as far as the eye can see. Those elaborate meals unfortunately are not a reality for many students. Either because students are far away from family or because the budget is tight. Fortunately, Capilano University has numerous food resources for struggling students. Food security is a big issue for people and CapU has recognized that and taken measures to support its students. 

With food insecurity often comes a level of shame. No one likes to admit that they cannot afford a proper meal. An easy option offered by CapU is the Community Cupboard, located in the CSU Lounge in the Library Building. It is next to the microwaves, is a green cupboard that is usually stocked with non-perishable foods. 

Divya Jiandani, a third-year communication student told me she has grabbed everything from ramen, pasta sauce or even spice mixes from there before. “The Cupboard is great because I can access it whenever I want to and I can do it without having to talk to anyone,” Jiandani said. She got entire meals together with the things she found in the cupboards over the last three years as a student at CapU. “There is always something interesting in there, I found a pasta sauce in there that now is my favorite and I get it all the time.” 

When it comes to fresh produce, CapU also offers an option for that. Every Thursday at 11:30 a.m. there is a pop-up produce event in the CSU Lounge where students can grab veggies, eggs, milk, or sometimes even frozen foods. This resource is on a first come first grab basis and usually runs out of products fast, as the demand is high. Students are encouraged to grab as much as they need but still leave enough for other students. The general rule of thumb is to take the amount you need to cook a one-person meal. 

Sami buses every Thursday to CapU even though they do not have classes that day just because of the produce pop-up. “I am doing a little better now, but there were times when the veggies I would grab here were all I had to eat for the week.”

This demand for fresh produce and groceries is also fulfilled by a resource that is not offered directly by CapU, but is affiliated with the Students’ Union. TheQuest Food Exchange is a well-established institution across the lower mainland. With five locations all over the area, Quest offers groceries at a reduced price to its customers. They are able to do this because they source their products mainly from local farmers and food producers who donate their products to Quest. The Capilano Students’ Union can refer students to their organizers and help get access to this resource. Students can do this by asking a member of the CSU about a referral. 

The Eat Share Care Fund, which is offered through the Financial Aid Office, is a relatively new resource for CapU students. Similar to an emergency bursary, students can apply for funds through the Financial Aid office and use the provided funds towards groceries and necessities of life. This is an option that is available for both domestic and international students, so everyone in need at CapU can reach out and inquire about the Eat Share Care Fund. 

Overall, CapU offers a multitude of options for students in situations of food insecurity, but with the rising demand the resources seem to be put to a test. CapU is trying to grow their options for students in regards to produce and food but keeping up with a system that systematically undersupports the people in need is a challenge in itself and will be for the foreseeable future. 


More information about this can be found here:–security/food-security-program/

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