Imagine if you were a UBC student making the tough choice between paying bills and buying food. Unfortunately, this is the daily reality for far too many of our students. A lack of financial access to nutritious food becomes a constant worry, one that students often carry alone, and it can significantly affect their health, wellbeing, and academic success.
UBC is committed to providing stigma-free access to food and funds to support students and promote food security. The UBC Meal Share Program provides a confidential way for eligible students to access funds to purchase food at select on campus outlets via their UBCcard. This donor-supported pilot initiative will run from January to April of this year.
Food insecurity is a major public health issue in Canada, with substantial implications for health and wellbeing. A recent survey indicates that 40% of UBC students have experienced food insecurity, which is in line with the national average at Canadian higher educational institutions, and those who belong to marginalized groups are particularly vulnerable.
To do well, our students need to be well, and being food insecure puts them at risk. UBC has set an ambitious target to reduce food insecurity for our community members by 50% by 2025. Across our campuses, students, faculty, and staff are working together to explore food security solutions through the UBC Food Security Initiative. But while we advocate for long-term solutions, our students are still going hungry, and short-term dignified solutions are needed to support them now.
Please make a donation in support of the UBC Meal Share Program. Your gift will allow the university to provide emergency support to students in need. Meal dollars will be added directly to an eligible student’s UBCcard, providing stigma-free support. Together, we can ensure our students stay healthy and resilient.