The holidays were a chance to enjoy a good home-cooked meal, but as we gathered around the dinner table with our family and friends, it may be easy to forget that good food is a privilege that not everyone can afford.
At the end of last semester, the Student Justice Centre (SJC) and the James A. Gibson Library addressed this issue with their Food for Fines campaign. During the first week of Dec., they invited students to bring nonperishable food items to the library. For every item donated by a student, the James A. Gibson Library removed $2 worth of library fees (from overdue materials) from their account.
In five days, the Food for Fines campaign collected 71 cans of food, 10 bags of pasta and $20 in cash. All of these items were donated to the on-campus food bank, which is run through the SJC. Since the on-campus food bank provides assistance to the Brock University community throughout the year, this campaign gave students a way to reduce their overdue library fees while also helping peers in need.
Initiatives similar to the Food for Fines campaign have been run at other universities, but this was the first time such a campaign was implemented at Brock. When asked whether the campaign would run in the future, one of the librarians replied, “we didn’t do too badly in terms of donations, but I think the response was less than we hoped for.”
Luckily, the opportunity to donate to the on-campus food drive does not end with the Food for Fines campaign. The SJC accepts donations all year, and they will be running another food drive during the first two weeks of second semester, despite the unexpected resignation of their Food Bank Coordinator.
If you are interested in donating, you can visit one of the many locations around campus in early Jan. The SJC will be setting up collection bins near the Campus Store, the Welcome Desk in the Schmon Tower, General Brock, Walker Complex and their campaign table in Mackenzie Chown A Block.
“The SJC is grateful for any and all donations,” said Nichole Burrus, the Campaigns Coordinator for the on-campus organization.
Being a university student can be expensive. Because food costs are more flexible than the price of textbooks or tuition, it’s easy to sacrifice healthy eating habits to save some extra cash. Students who find themselves in this position can use the on-campus food bank three times per semester. Each use allows them to take seven food items and two hygiene products.
“If students are in need of food they can come and place an order with us in the SJC, or they can fill out a form online,” said Burrus.
The SJC emphasizes anonymity and only requires students to provide their Brock ID number before placing an order. Students even have the option of picking up their items from a locker on campus if they do not wish to come to the collaboratorium in person.
For more information visit brocksjc.com