Students at the University of Calgary are working to increase knowledge about healthy food, sustainability and access to food through the third annual Hunger Week from March 18–22.
Snack packs were given to students and there were workshops and panels to discuss food-related topics.
Hunger Week is a collaborative project between the U of C’s Campus Food Bank and the Meal Exchange.
U of C Centre for Community Engaged Learning service-learning co-ordinator Alycia Lauzon said it is important to understand where our food comes from and the impact it has on the environment.
“Food is starting to be looked at in new ways and we are beginning to focus on where our food is coming from and the impact food production has on the environment and the community,” said Lauzon.
Six students will be living completely off food hampers supplied by the Campus Food Bank for a week. They have been blogging about their experience.
Lauzon said another issue raised through Hunger Week is students’ access to food.
“A lot of people think that university is a place of privilege and that nobody really goes hungry, but there are a lot of struggles that students have to make ends meet,” said Lauzon. “We are looking at access to food and the ability for students to access good, healthy, sustainable food as well.”
Students’ Union vice-president student life Hayley Wade has been participating in the week-long hamper project. She said it has been an eye-opening experience.
“It’s been a really interesting week so far,” said Wade. “I think the experience has really helped me see the struggles many people face when it comes to food, but it’s only for one week, and many students live off of these hampers for up to six weeks and I now understand how difficult it can be.”
Third-year U of C human resources and dance student Heather Morris, who is participating in Hunger Week, said it is fun engaging with students.
“Hunger Week is a way to get the word out about sustainability and poverty within our immediate community,” she said.