Oct. 13, 2022
Students and campus community fight food insecurity this Halloween – help them fill the food bank!
Since 2009, UCalgary students and alumni have teamed up on Halloween night to canvas communities near the university for food donations. In the spirit of the holiday, most volunteers arrive at the event in costume, and ready to impress. In addition to the beloved cartoon characters and giant banana costumes, many show off their creative skills with incredible homemade outfits — shout-out to the four Campbell’s soup cans and their friend ‘the spoon’ who return each year.
It’s committed volunteers like these — many who return year after year — who make Trick-or-Eat a successful event, and whose contribution allows the SU Campus Food Bank (CFB) to help members of our student community navigate food insecurity during what is often a difficult time of year.
Aiming to beat the 2010 record of 6,300 pounds of food donated, this year's event is being paired with a friendly faculty competition to raise donations. The first Great Trick-or-Eat Faculty Challenge asks faculties to solicit donations from their respective communities in the 13 days leading up to the Oct. 27 Trick-or-Eat student event. The stakes are high, as the faculty who collects the most donations by total weight will be awarded a trophy and a delicious prize from Crave Cupcakes.
Organized by the Leadership and Student Engagement office, student staff members are at the core of this initiative. A small team of co-op students gain valuable work integrated learning experience through organizing the event, facilitating activities, and coordinating distribution of donations to the food banks.
"I'm so happy to be a part of the organization of this event. With the COVID-19 pandemic increasing food insecurity, I have had friends who are struggling with the basic necessity of food. I am excited to be given the opportunity to help in any way that I can," says Janice Fan, a student experience program assistant and Faculty of Arts co-op student working in the Leadership and Student Engagement office.
Inflation has increased costs at the supermarket — an issue many post-secondary students are finding difficult. Money from student loans or earned at a part-time job doesn’t go as far as it did even last year. Between Aug. 1 and Sept. 15, the SU Campus Food Bank has seen a 46 per cent increase in requests for food hampers over the same period in 2018 according to a recent CBC article. The same article reports that international students make up more than 78 per cent of those requests, adding to the distress experienced by that specific population of students on our campus.
“It's important for the campus community to take care of each other. By donating non-perishable food items, faculty, students, staff and alumni can make an immediate and positive impact in the lives of individuals and families facing food insecurity,” says Frances Donohue, co-ordinator, new student programs with the Leadership and Student Engagement office.
Is my faculty participating? How can I learn more?
Faculty participants are encouraged to register by Oct. 13 when donations begin. Representatives from each team will be responsible for soliciting donations from their student, staff and faculty groups during the 13 days of collection, and delivering donations for weighing on Oct. 26 from 12 to 2 p.m.
Each faculty has been approached about participating in the competition. For more information about who to talk with in your faculty, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about what items to donate and where to drop items off, visit the Trick-or-Eat web page.
To make a food or monetary contribution outside of the faculty competition or the Trick-or-Eat event, visit the Students Union Campus Food Bank website for more information on payment or drop-off locations.