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Students Can Help Each Other Through NAITSA’s Food Centre This Winter

By Mackenzie McDaniel-Paul

It’s getting colder, and that means the economic landscape of Edmonton is changing. Across the city, Edmonton’s impoverished are working to provide for their families while heating prices and the cost of living increase. At this time of the year, NAITSA’s Food Centre program operates to ensure that students and their families have the basics this fall.

The NAIT Students’ Association (NAITSA) is the group organizing and is busy preparing for a mass of donations to “Scare Away Hunger” this week. In-person donations are limited due to COVID, so donations are much easier handled online through the NAITSA website. There are two main methods of donation.

The first is in person via hamper, where students will comprise a cardboard flat full of requested non-perishable items such as canned vegetables and fruits, powdered milk, peanut butter, and rice (e.g. Uncle Ben’s Sidekicks). These are all considered high need food items. In addition, small toiletries like shaving razors, toothbrushes, travel-size soap, and shampoo are also accepted.

Pop-top cans are preferable to cans that would require a can opener but do not dismiss goods that do not have pop-top cans. Expiration dates are important. Goods that expire in one to three days are less useful than cans with longer pantry life. While soups and one-course meals are welcome, note that items that can be saved and used over multiple meals are more useful. Once the hamper is compromised, students can contact NAITSA through their website to schedule a drop-off date at the NAITSA office in room O108.

The second way to help is through the NAITSA website with online monetary donations. The donation options can be as low as $2.50 and as high as $80, so students can provide a month’s worth of food to feed a family of four.

For students who would like to help directly, volunteer applications are updated live here. If there are no current volunteer opportunities with NAITSA’s Food Centre, aspiring volunteers can still help other organizations. Various organizations that work in tandem with the community, like the Edmonton Food Bank and The Mustard Seed, are also active.

Every donation raises the quality of life in Edmonton, and the contributions of this month aim to fill a void that lasts from November until December. Everyone deserves a meal, so let’s help ease the situation and scare away hunger this fall. For updates on NAITSA’s efforts this season, watch for updates on their Instagram.

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