Student Association launches donations programs to increase the food bank supplies
For one month, the community services department from the Student Association (SA) is running two donation programs to help the food bank: the Holiday Hamper Drive and Food for Fines.
Holiday Hamper Drive boxes are scattered in all campuses at George Brown College encouraging staff and students to bring non-perishable items as canned food, pasta rice, noodles, soup and personal care items. The campaign is in its second year.
However, according to Ronnie Cruz, the SA’s community services coordinator, even with posters fixed in the college’s halls and social media promotion, most of the donations still come from GBC staff.
“Students are also, you know, struggling. I mean, it’s expensive to go the school,” she said. “It’s also difficult for them to donate.”
Food for Fines was introduced by Cruz as a pilot in 2016 as a way to engage students. The program provides allows students donate non-perishable items in the library in exchange for relief on fines. Each item donated represents $5 off current fines, up to $20. Donations should be done in the library during the opened hours.
Cruz believes Food for Fines is an incentive for students to participate more actively in the donations campaigns.
“At the same time, (the campaign) helps students find a way to save money from paying outstanding fees, while helping fellow students who are facing food insecurity,” she said.
According to Elizabeth Lewis, the operations and budget manager at the library learning commons, the library decided to collaborate with the SA to encourage students to help their peers.
All donations will be directed to help increase the food bank program, that has been used monthly by around 600 students.
The food bank is an SA program which supports GBC students in financial need, giving them access to food supplies to supplement their groceries.
The Holiday Hamper Drive and the Food for Fines campaigns are running until Dec. 14. Cruz told that the department is expecting to receive 300 donations.
“We’re hoping to achieve it and even exceed it”, she said.