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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATE: 6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

West Kelowna pauses Re-leaf Program after COVID-19 confirmed at local nursery

Tree deliveries are paused until further notice after outbreak confirmed March 31

COVID-19: Non-profit 3D printing face shields for local hospital

‘The response has been completely overwhelming’

Outbreak of COVID-19 at West Kelowna agricultural business; 14 cases confirmed

75 workers are in isolation — 63 migrant workers and 12 local workers

Memorial Cup concert with Brett Kissel canceled amid COVID-19 concerns

Brett Kissel was scheduled to perform at Live on Lake in Kelowna on May 30

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

UPDATE: Coronavirus concerns prompt event cancellations across the Okanagan

This is a running list of events cancelled across the Okanagan

Community drums up support for North Okanagan hospital workers

Even health care workers and fellow first responders turned out to show love

South Okanagan first responders salute hospital workers

“You’re awesome” and “Thank you” say Penticton first responders, passing by emergency entrance

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

B.C.’s first community COVID-19 death was dentist ‘dedicated’ to health: lawyer

Vincent was 64 when he died on March 22 after attending the Pacific Dental Conference

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

‘April Fools’ social media prank leads to criminal investigation in Osoyoos

Post claims individuals will be canvassing door to door seeking housing for seasonal workers

Stay inside vehicles on Interior ferry crossings to prevent spread of COVID-19: B.C. government

Glade, Kootenay and Arrow Lakes some of the ferry crossings in Interior

Most Read