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

Salmon Arm projects keep rolling thanks to taxpayers’ early payments

‘Speed hump’ to go on Okanagan Avenue adjacent to Fletcher Park

Sicamous arena upgrade project grows, funding approval needed

An additional $100,000 needed to complete expanded project

Sicamous asks people to use face masks, not police others

Face masks recommended for any indoor public place where physical distancing isn’t possible

Roots and Blues online festival live tonight on Black Press Media

Tune in to Black Press Media to watch the festival live Aug. 14, 15 and 16

Okanagan COVID-19 case count growth slows

BCCDC data shows a stark contrast between Okanagan-specific numbers released in July and August

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

Vernon pedestrian struck dies from injuries

Emergency responders are on scene on Main Street near the CIBC, traffic affected

UPDATE: Fire in Lake Country a “smoke chase”

A water bomber reportedly took off from Penticton and is on the way to Lake Country

Kelowna man convicted of not paying taxes after turbulent trial

Man claims he doesn’t meet the definition of a ‘person’ under the federal Income Tax Act

Accused in Kelowna’s 2018 Canada Day killing granted bail more than 1.5 years later

Esa Carriere was stabbed to death during the Canada Day fireworks in downtown Kelowna in 2018

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Most Read