The one thing that every university student has in common, besides finding ways to deal with the stress of school or mutually shared methods of procrastination, is the comfort, need for, struggle to find and reliance on food. Whether you’re on a meal plan, surviving off your parents dollar, saying grace to the good people at OSAP before each meal or are feasting from your own hard earned money, food and the cost of eating is expensive no matter where you shop. In response to the prices of food available on Brock University campus, Fed Up The Affordable Food project is hoping to create a more affordable and satisfied environment among students.
Fed Up aims to provide students with a holistic approach to eating, emphasizing the need for good food with the importance of the right prices and adequate services. Their blog posts have hit several waves of traffic and shared on Facebook of the group increase every day. With similar campaigns such as Lower Food Prices at Brock running, the Fed Up project is not working against these efforts, rather towards the common goal of a more accessible way to eat during the school year. Working under OPIRG-Brock, Fed Up has several members who are working quickly to develop services for students and always looking for more support from the student body to reach more numbers than ever before. All of these fundamentals are centred around the concept that food is to be shared, not held hostage under high prices or through inconveniences.
Fed Up grew out student frustrations with food on campus back in 2011. The project has recently incorporated a not-for-profit vision in order to grow a handful of food based initiatives and provide better service for students looking to save money and be given more food options.
Em Heppler is the Volunteer coordinator for Fed Up and believes that the need for more easily accessible food based initiatives is a part of what it means to be a student.
“Home is where the heart is, but a lot of students keep their stomachs there too and that is too bad. Students pour so much love and energy into Brock and adding to the existing food services on campus will only mean great things for the university,” said Heppler.
The naming of Fed Up is a strategic move that mirrors the goal to capture the frustrations students feel: “Students are fed up with inadequate food choices and limited hours. They are fed up with high prices. But they still love food and Fed Up is all about returning some of this love,” said Heppler.
Fed Up has already reached the student body through projects like bananagrams (free bananas with motivational messages) and through collaborations with The Brock Community Garden, Brock Fair Trade, Food not Bombs, OPIRG-Brock, A Safer Brock and a handful of other student groups.
However, 2014 will bring even more outreach to Brock students as Fed Up will host other food-based initiatives. “We have projects in the works including but not limited to bulk buying clubs to save students money, helping arranging food for events and fundraising initiatives, running a certified kitchen for use by student groups and outreach campaigns to help students learn about food preparation and production while trying new food and meeting new people,” said Heppler.
One of Fed Up’s flagship services is a Grocery Pick-Up and Delivery program for students. The service is completely free to students and is built to save students time and money while making their lives easier. “Fed Up comes from a hunger to make a positive impact. It’s not about random acts of kindness, rather about sharing, and sharing is all about caring. We want to make students smile and can think of no better way to do that each and every day than with food” said Heppler.
Fed Up is for the student already burdened with expensive tuition who needs to save money wherever they can. Heppler is looking forward to a full-fed future for students, “It’s for student groups looking to fundraise that need a little support. It’s for the bright-eyed student who wants to volunteer to feed the Brock spirit of student engagement and make people smile. Good food keeps people healthy, it makes people happy and that’s all we want.”
Volunteer opportunities with Fed Up The Affordable Food Project are built to provide a fulfilling and social way for students to give back to the Brock community. Students interested in volunteering should email Food@YourBrock.org. To sign up for grocery delivery or to volunteer e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.