Okanagan College opens food bank for students

The need is growing for students as tuition and rent continues to increase

Okanagan College business student Natasha Mangel used the Central Okanagan Community Food Bank when she needed a little extra help after paying tuition, rent and purchasing textbooks.

“It’s difficult to be living on your own as a young adult…especially the first few weeks of school, especially when you have to deal with tuition and food costs,” she said.

Mangel is also a Kelowna representative at the Okanagan College Students’ Union and said she, like many other students, is disciplined with her budget, but it’s not enough.

The student’s union has been working since 2009 to get a food bank at its campus in Kelowna and after nine years, the OCSU Pantry is open.

“School keeps getting more expensive, textbooks keep getting more expensive, the high rental costs are a huge thing. I think it’s getting harder and harder to be a student,” said Courtney Kindlein, an organizer with Okanagan College’s student union.

“At almost every one of our events we give out free food and every year we have to up the numbers because we run out so quickly and students tell us how much (they) appreciate it,” she said. “We do prizes at our events too and the first prize to go is always a grocery gift card.”

Tuition increases also aren’t helping students, she said.

READ MORE: Okanagan College raises tuition fees

Food donations are supplied by the Kelowna Community Food Bank, which also delivers food to the college.

“Many families here in the Central Okanagan can barely make ends meet on a monthly basis, then you add back to school costs to an already long list of expenses a family has and the stress can be overpowering,” said Lenetta Parry, executive director with the food bank.

“In response to a growing number of college students going hungry, we are assisting the Okanagan College, Kelowna campus with its own food pantry. Each week, we will fill the pantry with an assortment of non-perishable food donations. The pantry just opened and the school year just started so we will wait to see what the exact need is,” she said. “Student hunger is a real issue in our community and so, we as an organization, are doing what we can close the gap.”

Students can find the food bank at A149 and it’s open Mondays from 1 to 2 p.m. and 11-1 on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday depending on the week.

@carliberry_
carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Open burning permitted again in Kamloops Fire Centre

Low fire rating prompts decision throughout Kamloops Fire Centre

B.C. Rural Party co-founder rebukes pro-NDP accusation

Telkwa Mayor Darcy Repen disputes being NDP campaign supporter

Juno nominated artist performing at LUNA in Revelstoke Sept. 29

Cris Derksen is an Indigenous cellist and was nominated for her album Orchestral Powwow

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Sept.

120 Years Ago: Revelstoke Herald, September 17, 1898 A freight boat that… Continue reading

Covered in mud at the Revelstoke Women’s Enduro

108 women rode in the annual Revelstoke Women’s Enduro race on Saturday.… Continue reading

VIDEO: Messages of hope, encouragement line bars of B.C. bridge

WARNING: This story contains references to suicide and may not be appropriate for all audiences.

Fresh-faced Flames fend off Canucks 4-1

Vancouver drops second straight NHL exhibition contest

VIDEO: B.C. deer struggles with life-preserver caught in antlers

Campbell River resident captures entangled deer on camera

Scheer pushes Trudeau to re-start Energy East pipeline talks

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer questioned the Prime Minister over Trans Mountain project

Mistaken identity: Missing dog claimed in Moose Jaw belongs to another family

Brennen Duncan was reunited with a white Kuvasz that was found in Saskatchewan

Abandoned kitten safe and sound thanks to B.C. homeless man

‘Jay’ found little black-and-white kitten in a carrier next to a dumpster by a Chilliwack pet store

Police chief defends controversial marijuana seizure

Advocates said cannabis was part of an opioid-substitution program in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Trans Mountain completes Burrard Inlet spill exercise

Training required, some work continues on pipeline expansion

Supporters of B.C. man accused of murdering Belgian tourist pack courtoom

Family and friends of Sean McKenzie, 27, filled the gallery for brief court appearance in Chilliwack

Most Read