hand opening fridge

Food security for students

Do you need help getting enough food?

bags of groceries

What is food security?

The four components of food security relate to:

  • availability (sufficient access to food)
  • access (being able to obtain/purchase food) 
  • utilization/consumption (adequate dietary intake of food and/or the body’s ability to absorb nutrients)
  • stability (permanent and stable access to food)

Being food secure means having reliable, stable, permanent and affordable access to a sufficient quantity of nutritious food. In 2021, Maclean’s reported that approximately 40 per cent of post-secondary students in Canada are food insecure – so, if you find yourself in this position, you’re not alone.

Available supports

Here are some ways UCalgary students can access support related to food security:

The SU Campus Food Bank offers a year-round emergency food relief service to UCalgary’s campus community. This relief is provided through nutritionally-sound hampers assembled in accordance with the Canada Food Guide. The SU Campus Food Bank also provides access to emergency snacks, the Good Food Box program (affordable produce) and can pass along information regarding food relief resources available both on and off-campus.

To speak confidentially to one of our volunteers about your food security needs, call 403.220.8599 or email foodbank@ucalgary.ca.

In addition to regular hampers available all year, the SU Food Bank provides Ramadan food hampers for campus community members who need support to celebrate the occasion, as well as Holiday hampers prior to the winter break. Ramadan and Holiday hampers can be requested as an add-on to a regular hamper request, or they can be ordered as a stand-alone hamper.

The SU Food Bank also runs an annual Adopt-a-Family program that provides holidays gifts to student families with limited resources. This program accepts applications in November, and gifts are distributed in early December.

In emergency cases, grocery store gift cards are distributed to students in immediate need of necessities. This form of assistance can be access by referral from a Student Support Advisor in Student Wellness Services. This initiative is supported by the Students’ Greatest Need fund.

UCalgary is in the process of launching multiple community fridges across main campus. More details will be provided about this initiative as they become available.