‘There’s a lot of students who don’t have support’: administrative supervisor

By: Graham Sceviour-Fraehlich

The Red River College Polytechnic Students’ Association (RRCSA) has supplies available for students in need, including a Harvest Manitoba food bank at the Notre Dame and Exchange District campuses.

“There’s a lot of students who don’t have support,” said Trent Takeuchi, administrative supervisor at the RRCSA.

Takeuchi is involved in organizing the food bank service. He hires coordinators to organize food from Harvest Manitoba into hampers for students. 

Greg Schroeder, agency manager for Harvest Manitoba, said he believes inflation and high grocery costs are causing a greater need for food donations and making it difficult for people to donate. 

“The need is getting higher as a whole,” Schroeder said. “So higher need, but also harder for us to get stuff. It’s kind of a double whammy in a way.”

Trent Takeuchi arranges non-perishable food inside the trailer at the Notre Dame Campus on Monday, Nov. 7, 2022. This trailer also contains academic supplies, clothes, and other supplies available to students who need them. (Graham Sceviour-Fraehlich)

Students can donate to the service by bringing non-perishable food items, any unneeded clothing, or academic supplies to the students’ association office at their campus, Takeuchi said.

“We also do accept donations from students, from any outsiders, and also from the college as well,” said Manpreet Kaur, president of the RRCSA. “Anyone can register for the food bank. They just need to call Harvest Manitoba.” 

Harvest Manitoba will assemble food items based on the needs of the student, who can pick up their hampers at the RRC Polytech campus of their choosing.

The next opportunity for students to pick up food hampers will be from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Dec. 7 at the Notre Dame Campus and Dec. 9 at the Exchange District Campus, according to the RRCSA website.

“The students’ association works to help students who require goods other than food as well,” Takeuchi said.

Trailers located on the grounds of both campuses contain items that can be given to students, including school supplies, winter clothes, lab coats, street clothes and more. 

“Some students may not realize we have different resources for them,” said Takeuchi. “You just come to the office and say, ‘I need this,’ and we’ll see what we can do to help.” 

Students who could benefit from the food bank service are sometimes reluctant to due to pride or embarrassment, said Takeuchi.

 “What I’d say to them is ‘when you’re in a good spot, just give back.’”