Amber Solomon, Mt. A’s food bank coordinator, has been busy working over the summer to prepare for the upcoming school year. Solomon explains that through the help of the Rising Youth Grant, she was “able to stock our shelves for the upcoming school year to ensure that there is a large inventory for students in need.”
The Rising Youth Grant allocates money to youth projects that give back to their communities. Youth who are planning community initiatives and projects are eligible to apply.
Solomon is a fourth-year student pursuing a major in Sociology and minors in Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies. She is also the president of the Indigenous Student Support Group (ISSG) and plays on Mt. A’s badminton team.
The food bank was established in 2018 and Solomon says that it has grown in size and support. Students can locate the food bank in the Mawita’mkw Indigenous gathering space on the first floor of the student centre, which is in room 130 of the Wallace Mccain Student Centre.
Food insecurity has become significant across the country as the cost of living continues to rise. The food bank is intended to support students facing food insecurity. “The food bank is one place we can offer our support for students to rely on in times of need without shame or fear,” says Solomon.
Solomon explained how the ISSG works with the food bank. For example, she says, “Indigenous teachings are rooted in the values of communal support and relationship building.” She added that the intention of the food bank is for students to feel a sense of community support and to help address food insecurity.
“It is clear that we all face various struggles,” Solomon said.
The food bank offers a wide range of non-perishable food items, along with bread, meat, produce, and hygiene products. The food bank also offers students a pick-up option that includes “canned foods, crackers, rice packages, pastas, and snack foods,” Solomon added. They always have an inventory of the items that are most needed in the community.
Solomon emphasizes that the food bank is always open to donations such as non-perishable food items, and that cash and gift cards are also accepted.
Solomon is beyond pleased about the growing support for the food bank and hopes that it can ease any struggles that students face during their studies.