RRCSA shines a light on students in need this holiday season
By Rachel Young
The Red River College Students’ Association (RRCSA) will be supplying food and toys to 19 students and their families this holiday season.
The RRCSA organizes the annual Feed a Student Christmas Hamper program. Those who are eligible for food banks, like Winnipeg Harvest, are able to sign up for the program. Both the Exchange District and Notre Dame campuses participate.
Red River College departments can sign up to donate to the hampers. Departments receive an email from the RRCSA urging them to participate in the Feed a Student program, but currently at the Exchange District Campus, only two departments participate.
Leslie Howie, the administrative assistant for the RRCSA at Red River College’s Exchange District Campus said that in her five years of working on the campus, the number of participants has decreased.
“When I started there were five families that would receive, and now it’s down to three,” said Howie.
This year, the Notre Dame Campus has 16 families who will receive hampers.
Lauren Slegers, president of the RRCSA, is in charge of organizing and distributing the hampers and says the hampers follow the Winnipeg Harvest hamper regulations, which includes dry pastas, proteins, and even small toys.
“There was a particular student we helped out today that was so overjoyed that they started crying,” Slegers said.
The Feed a Student Christmas Hamper program only happens during the holidays. The RRCSA also runs a bi-weekly food bank that students have access to during the school year.
“If you ever find yourself in need as a student, please know that this is available,” Slegers said.
Currently, there are 14 Red River College students that use the food bank on a regular basis. Slegers is concerned that not enough students are aware of the program.
“There’s not a lot of people signing up for the food bank. Is it because people are in a better position, or is it because people don’t know about it?” she said.
Even though the deadline for the hampers is Nov. 23, there is work to be done all year round. Howie and Slegers usually haul food to and from Winnipeg Harvest. Volunteers can help with transportation as well as packaging the hampers.
“We get bulk potatoes, and they need to be bagged up. We could always use help doing that,” Howie said.
If students want to volunteer, Howie and Slegers encourage them to visit the RRCSA for more information.