NDC’s new food bank trailer ready to open
Evan Bergen, Contributor
Before Red River College’s new food bank trailer can lend a hand to students, it needs one final touch.
“Just waiting for the hand railings to arrive and be installed,” said Red River College Students’ Association (RRCSA) president Benjamin McDonald. “We are expecting them this week.”
After two years of fundraising, the new $125,000 trailer at the Notre Dame Campus (NDC) will be open on Sept. 25.
The building is in the Northwest student parking lot. The opening signals a lot of hard work and dedication for the RRCSA. In 2013, the old food bank trailer failed to pass a safety inspection, forcing the RRCSA to move the service and run it out of a cramped location in the college.
With the new building, the RRCSA can provide the vital food bank service in a comfortable and discreet location.
Former NDC food bank coordinator Rebecca Trudeau said while the new location is discreet, there shouldn’t be a stigma around using the service at all.
“A lot of students would say to me that would be the only food they would have for the next two weeks,” said Trudeau who was also a childhood food bank user. “When it comes to the stigma, students are supposed to be low income, so I’m not really sure why [one exists].”
McDonald, who said he grew up on food banks, compares it to receiving bursaries and student giveaways.
“It’s a service that we have, so please take advantage of it,” said McDonald. “You’re a student, and that’s all you need to be to qualify.”
Thanks to a modified working arrangement with Winnipeg Harvest, the
RRCSA will ensure no student is turned away this year. The new NDC food bank coordinator Jeena Chartier said she’s has some ideas for the college’s food bank.
“There’s many resources in Winnipeg from cooking classes, low-cost grocery, to nutritional information,” said Chartier. “I feel like that would be super beneficial for people.”
As the food bank trailer awaits its grand opening, the RRCSA needs student volunteers and donations of non-perishable food items to fill the shelves. The Exchange District Campus’s food bank, located in the Massey Building, starts on Sept. 23 and also needs donations. Donation drop-offs are at the RRCSA offices in NDC and EDC.
To the point
NDC food bank opens Sept. 25.
EDC food bank opens Sept. 23.
Two years of fundraising brought in $125,000 for the trailer.
Volunteer your time – The RRCSA is always looking for students to help out.
Donate non-perishable food items – There can never be too much food available to those in need.
Become aware and fight the stigma of using a food bank. There is no reason to be ashamed and the services are available to be used.