Give a Meal program

December 14, 2022 - 1:30am

By Simon Lalande, Ancillary Services Marketing and Technology Clerk

Access to quality, nutritious food is fundamental to human existence and is vital to the success of students at VIU.

In support of this, on September 28, 2022 the “Give a Meal” program was launched by Ancillary Services. This program provides meals to students in need on a temporary basis through VIU's cafeterias, as well as resources and support, for those struggling with food security.

VIU Foundation support

We would like to highlight the support and the dedication of The VIU Foundation team to ensure the successful funding of the Give a Meal program.

“In any given year, going to school and paying the bills at the same time can be a challenge for students, but this year is extra hard for some due to inflation and the rapidly rising cost of housing” - Richard Horbachewski, Associate Vice-President, External Relations and Executive Director of the VIU Foundation.

Slava Govorov, owner of Panago locations in south Nanaimo and Ladysmith, provided the seed donation to help launch the Give a Meal program.

“As a VIU alum, I understand the pressures put on students, from academics to social and financial pressures”. – Slava Govorov

Strategic Partners

One-on-one meetings were held and vouchers were provided to the program distribution partners, Financial Aid, Counselling Services for Students, VIU Student Union, Services for Aboriginal Students, Main Cafeteria - Food Services Office, and Residence Student Life.

Current Status

The program has been open for over a month now and as of November 1, 2022 we have distributed 600 meal vouchers and more than 45 meals have been given to students, which works out to an average of 1.40 meals every day. The number of students accessing the program is significant and highlights the need, especially in such a short amount of time.

What’s Next

As part of our students’ support network, you are uniquely placed to interact with individuals who may need additional help but do not know where to go. Some students may be uncomfortable asking and that’s normal. Be proactive and stay alert for signs of food insecurity.

To ensure funding for the years to come, the VIU Foundation is already presenting the program to potential donors. Our funding objective is to provide an average of three free meals a day to students for the next five years.

Tags: In the Community

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