As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, food insecurity is an ongoing concern for many, including those who utilize the food bank at the University of Lethbridge.
On Friday, the University of Lethbridge Students’ Union told Global News that it has seen an increase in demand this fall semester in comparison with previous years.
The students’ union said it has seen substantially more people using the food bank since the onset of the pandemic earlier this year.
Since then, the service has provided about 400 individual hampers to students, faculty and other community members at the university. The students’ union also said some people may need to rely on the service multiple times throughout the semester or school year.
“In the past, our food bank has been fairly well-funded,” said Ethan Pullan, vice-president of operations and finance for the students’ union.
“I think the funding in the past couple of years has been dropping off, and we definitely got hit pretty hard in the spring when we saw the amount of folks accessing the food bank.”
Pullan added that the food bank was certainly not prepared for the uptick in usage it saw in the spring.
“We were lucky to get a little bit of money and support from various other parties, but it’s not enough right now,” he said.
Due to the increase in use, the food bank is looking for more donations and plans to host some upcoming fundraisers in the near future to help increase funding for the rest of the semester.
“We feel that if we’ve seen an increase in the amount of people using the food bank already, it’s only going to go up from here,” Pullan said.
He noted that the food bank also provides contactless delivery for those looking for a hamper, and the group has undertaken additional COVID-19 safety precautions.
For those who would like to make a donation, you can visit the U of L’s donation page, and there is a drop-down option for the food bank.
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