Calgary

Food banks at Alberta universities see growing demand

Food banks at universities in southern Alberta are seeing an increasing demand from cash-strapped students.

The number of hampers handed out at the University of Calgary's student-run bank has doubled

Volunteers at the University of Calgary's food bank fill hampers. (Jennifer Lee/CBC)

Food banks at universities in southern Alberta are seeing an increasing demand from cash-strapped students.

The number of hampers handed out at the University of Calgary’s student-run food bank has more than doubled this year, says Jonah Ardiel, vice president of student life with the Students’ Union.

"I think it is a bit disappointing that a lot of students are having a hard time paying for basic necessities such as food,” he said.

“And it’s more or less just a result of the rising cost of living. So things like rent and most significantly for a student, the rising cost of tuition, which they can't afford to pay."

The University of Lethbridge students union says its food bank is also experiencing an increase in demand.

"One of the things that often goes unfortunately is food,” said  U of L Students’ Union president Sean Glydon.

“And so I think a lot of students are trying to cut costs that way because frankly the cost of an education isn't getting any cheaper.”

Glydon worries more students could be in need of help if the cap that ties Alberta tuition increases to inflation is lifted.

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