During the COVID-19 crisis, many students are experiencing financial hardship and challenges purchasing groceries due to reduced income. Reducing barriers to accessing healthy nutrition and supporting students at risk are at the core of the BCIT Student Association Wellness Department mission.
To support our students during this critical time, BCIT Student Association Wellness Department has partnered with the Greater Vancouver Food Bank and local community organizations to provide a new emergency food relief service for current BCIT students experiencing financial hardship during the pandemic. Emergency food relief programs not only relieve hunger but also financial pressures. When the stress of providing food is alleviated, students are better able to focus on their academics and have more financial resources to pay rent & other essential bills.
ABOUT THE BCITSA EMERGENCY FOOD RELIEF SERVICES:
Through the Emergency Food Relief Service, students in need, can access the following resources:
- Services available to ALL BCIT students experiencing financial hardship:
- Referral for a 3 year membership to Quest Food Exchange. Quest Food Exchange is a food recovery and redistribution not-for-profit organization that provides dignified access for individuals with low-income to a variety of affordable and healthy foods and groceries at multiple sites across BC.
- Additional financial relief and financial education services; including low-cost annual memberships for a Bike Share program, free virtual 1 on 1 financial coaching and referrals to local food banks and other financial assistance programs.
- Food Hamper service available to BCIT students currently living in Campus Housing and/or attending in-person classes at the Burnaby Campus.
- Starting Thursday May 25th, students can pick up a free food hamper with a week supply of groceries up to 3 times per term. Please note that currently, the food hamper program is only available to BCIT students that are attending in-person classes at the Burnaby Campus between March 25th 2021 to May 27th 2021. This policy is in place to discourage unnecessary travel to the campus during the pandemic. For students studying off-campus, the BCITSA Wellness team will discuss local accessible options in their community.
STEPS TO ACCESS EMERGENCY FOOD RELIEF SERVICES:
1. Students can complete the Financial Support Services Online Request Form to book a virtual intake appointment with a BCITSA staff member.
2. During the 15 minute intake appointment, staff will discuss options available to you based on your needs and location and refer you to appropriate programs.
3. If eligible for the Food Hamper Program, students will be provided with additional information and a link to book an individual timeslot to pick up your food hamper. Food hampers will be available for pick up every Thursday from the Student Association Centre in SE2 using an individual appointment booking system to maintain social distancing.
CONTACT DETAILS FOR PROGRAM ADMINISTRATORS:
For questions or more information about the BCITSA Emergency Food Relief Services for students, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to connect with BCITSA Wellness Manager Andrea Wilder and BCITSA Wellness Coordinator Kelsey Nikl.
Watch the short BCITSA Food Hamper Service Intro Video with more information.