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Healthy food for healthy minds

SFU students walking in the hall

Food security is a critical part of ensuring people’s physical and mental health.

But rising costs of food and increasing financial instability mean that more SFU students than ever are facing challenges accessing healthy food. Too often, students survive on a substandard diet of noodles and rice—or skip meals entirely.

Donors like you play a critical role supporting struggling students through various SFU programs designed to deliver affordable food to the SFU community, make food more accessible and increase students’ skills for purchasing, preparing and using food.

With your support, we have already helped 604 graduate and undergraduate students in need and raised $76,350 with grocery gift cards, ensuring students can purchase essentials.

“With unprecedented inflation and the rise in food and housing costs, the number of students experiencing food insecurity continues to grow in our community,” says Tara Flynn, Manager, SFU Food Pantry. “Many students simply cannot afford the type of nutrition that best fuels their brains, like fresh fruit, vegetables and high-quality animal and vegan proteins.”

Students often tell Tara how grateful they are for fresh foods—the first to be selected at the SFU Food Pantry—that typically get left ‘off their plates’ due to cost. She notes that having the ability to provide fresh items and to buy in bulk helps donation dollars go further; where possible the SFU Food Pantry also supports local shops, farmers, vendors, and B.C. products. 

“By directly helping students with food top-ups, the generous contributions from SFU donors alleviates some of the financial pressures students are experiencing on multiple levels, and in a dignified way,” she says. “A beautiful community is created around food, and the sense of belonging is palpable when people feel nourished in all ways.”

As well, donors to SFU’s Food Security Fund provided pick-up meals from the SFU Dining Commons to students staying in residences over the winter break (December 21, 2022 to January 1, 2023). Of the 692 meals picked up, 444 were funded by donor support.

We are grateful to all our partners helping to alleviate student hunger and provide students with the comfort and health of good food. At this time of giving, additional contributions to the SFU Food Security Fund will provide emergency grocery gift cards for undergraduate and graduate students in need.

“I appreciate that you understand the financial hardship of these days. Thank you for the gift card. They’ve been a lifesaver to students.” – SFU student


Spring Campaign updates

This story is part of our winter 2023 edition of Engage, our magazine celebrating the impact of SFU’s donor community.
To read more stories, please visit the 
Engage landing page.