The "New and Improved" CSA Food Bank

Monday, October 2, 2006

Written by Greg Beneteau

The Central Student Association has administered a campus-food bank for Guelph students for several years now. The location has been on the second floor of the University Centre for the last few years, but it just moved to a much larger and better-equipped venue located above the CSA Bike Centre at the corner of Gordon and South Ring Road in what used to be Biology House (where the exam bank used to and where CBS previously had their offices).

The CSA food bank offers emergency food services to combat hunger on campus. It has always carried non-perishables and basic household items, but with the new location they now have access to fridges and a sink so are able to carry both fresh and frozen foods. They also offer community referrals to organizations combating poverty. Another service is social programming to assist people in crisis, workshops, and annual anti-poverty colloquium, lots of varied volunteer opportunities, and other emergency services upon application (financial, transportation, special diet).

An anti-poverty resource library is in the making, as well as “a table of donated clothing” said Sarah Ferber, the CSA Food Bank Coordinator. One of the newest developments is “food available for immediate consumption” in the form of a hot lunch if someone needs one.

Ferber said the food bank has been receiving “a lot more donations of food” and recently a computer. They are now collaborating with another CSA service called Meal Exchange to run a “Hunger Week” in February, which will include events, speakers and workshops.

The food bank is available to all members of the University of Guelph community. It is entirely student funded and geared especially for student use. It is a confidential service and volunteers are trained to make clients feel comfortable, anonymous, and safe in the space. They now are able to accommodate special dietary requirements and clients are urged to contact a coordinator if they need this service.

Clients can access the service once every two weeks and can choose 15 items at each visit.

For more information, you can email or visit the new location to speak with staff in person.

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