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

Single-vehicle crash on Highway 97 south of Vernon

Second crash on Highway 97 near Vernon Sunday

Being vegan during the holidays just got a little bit better

Cook up these delicious options during the holidays

Big White’s Big Reds Wine Festival grows in popularity

More than 600 guests attended the event

Crash on Highway 97 south of Vernon slows traffic

There is currently no word on the cause of the single-vehicle incident

Cookies and puppies at the Kelowna BC SPCA

The Kelowna BC SPCA is hosting it’s annual Christmas bake sale on Dec. 15

UPDATE: Hedley residents will be without water for at least one week

Elevated levels of coliform and arsenic leave small town dry

Boeser scores 3, Pettersson has 5 points as Canucks hammer Blues

Vancouver picks up impressive 6-1 win in St. Louis

Cold case files: Murdered woman still unidentified after 44 years

Penticton RCMP releasing info on historical missing person and found human remains investigations

Okanagan Valley to see snow tonight

Environment Canada is calling for two-to-four centimetres of snow from Penticton to Salmon Arm

B.C. police stop drunk driver who offered up burger instead of ID

Roadblock checks over the weekend found at least two other impaired drivers

In Canada, the term ‘nationalism’ doesn’t seem to have a bad rap. Here’s why

Data suggest that Canadians don’t see the concept of nationalism the way people do in the United States

Update: Sicamous and Tumbler Ridge neck and neck in the Sled Town Showdown

Both communities in the final round have amassed over 10,000 votes

Small quake recorded west of Vancouver Island

No injuries or tsunami warning after 5.4 rumble felt some 400 kilometres from Victoria

Most Read