Food bank briefly closed

The Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union food bank was founded three years ago to provide hungry Laurier students with free food.

By filling out an online request form, students are given a hamper of non-perishable or frozen items, fresh food and even hygiene products.

The hamper of food is dropped off at various lockers around campus and the student is provided with a locker number and combination. The entire process is completely anonymous.
The food bank was closed temporarily for two days in November due to security changes on campus.

As the food is stored in the basement of the Dr. Alvin Woods Building (DAWB), volunteers previously needed only a key code for the elevator to access the basement.

Starting in November, volunteers wishing to access the basement were required to use a key.
Volunteers could not access the basement; therefore, the food bank was closed while the necessary keys were copied and distributed.

“Everyone was aware of the issue,” said vice-president of services Odette Ansell.

“It was well communicated through Joel Robinson’s [vice-president of public affairs] office as well and through the student food bank itself, so it wasn’t really a huge issue.

The turnaround for delivery is usually one to two days anyways, so it didn’t really hamper the service that much,” said Ansell.

Food was delivered to the students once the food bank re-opened.

With 30 volunteers, the WLUSU food bank makes two to three deliveries per week.

Though the program runs all year round, it is mostly used during exam periods and at the end of the year when students have run out of money on their OneCard.

For the 2009 fall term, food bank co-ordinators completed 76 deliveries.

Ansell explains that co-ordinators plan to include an educational component within the program, such as how to create easy recipes with the food provided and how to shop economically.

“We’re always there to help [the students], but once they leave Laurier they don’t have a student food bank, so [these new initiatives aim] to help them for the long term as well as the short term.”

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