UBC Undergraduate Research

Student Hunger at UBC Point Grey Campus Garbiec, Helen; Liang, Wenbo; Ling, Katelyn; Ly, Cassandra


Increasing reliance on food banks in Canada is a direct result of inadequate social assistance programs and dramatic increases in tuition and living costs for students across Canada (Abbott et al. 2015). This phenomenon can be observed at the University of British Columbia Point Grey campus where the AMS Food Bank has seen a 100% increase in usage within the past two semesters (Robinson 2015). The goals of this project were to highlight the value and benefits that food banks can bring to its users and produce a manual of recommendations and practices for the AMS Food Bank. We assessed the current strengths and gaps with the service, conducted interviews with the coordinator and volunteers, obtained data on users, strategies and operations from the AMS Food Bank, a literature review and other Canadian campus and city food banks. This allowed us to draw on similarities and compare differences in order to formulate the most effective, meaningful, and accessible recommendations. There were over 1000 visits, both new and returning, to the AMS Food Bank between September 2014- November 2015; Graduate students and international students appear particularly vulnerable and are main clients of the AMS food bank. Donations are varied but uneven in their nutritious value. Staff is dedicated and appreciate the opportunity of helping others. Our recommendations include advocacy for mentorship for coordinators, additional training for staff and volunteers, formulating a vision and mission, planning events and workshops that build a resilient and sustainable community and establishing partnerships with other food banks to ensure a reliable and constant supply of donations. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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