UPEI students 'Trick or Eat' for campus food bank on Halloween night

UPEI students will be going door-to-door in Charlottetown Halloween night collecting food donations for the campus food bank in a charity drive called 'Trick or Eat.'

Organizers say food security is a concern for students

The 'Trick or Eat' campaign is happening at 100 universities across Canada, including UPEI, as a way to tackle food insecurity. (Laura Chapin/CBC)

UPEI students will be going door-to-door in Charlottetown Halloween night collecting food for the campus food bank in a charity drive called 'Trick or Eat.'

"We go around door-to-door trick or treating essentially but instead we do it for non-perishable food items and donations. That way we can support our fellow students who maybe are struggling to put food on their table," says Jane McCorriston, a residence life advisor who's helping run the food drive. 

Lots of students struggle with being able to afford enough healthy food, she said. 

Resident life advisor Jane McCorriston is one of the people helping organize this year's UPEI 'Trick or Eat' campaign. (Laura Chapin/CBC)

"Just because people can afford to go to university doesn't mean that they can afford food all of the time," said McCorriston.

"Not many of us can hold a job while doing all of our course loads, and food's expensive, as well as tuition and all the other things we need to buy, like books. So it's important that we focus on eating and not just saying 'I'm going to buy this textbook and not be able to eat this week.'" 

Advance warning 

McCorriston and another organizer knocked on doors in Brighton in Charlottetown Monday. That's the neighbourhood about 25 students plan to canvas Halloween night. They chatted with people and left door flyers if people weren't home.

'Trick or Eat' door flyers were left on 100 homes in the Charlottetown neighbourhood of Brighton Monday getting people ready for the food drive Halloween night. (Laura Chapin/CBC)

"So that they're aware that A, we're coming, and B, they can have something ready for us." 

This is the fifth year UPEI students have held a 'Trick or Eat' campaign. Last year 700 pounds of food was collected. McCorriston hopes this year's drive raises as much or even more. 

Need is there 

Sister Sue Kidd runs the campus food bank out of the Chaplaincy Centre at UPEI. She said the 'Trick or Eat' campaign has been very helpful. Often supplies start to dwindle at the end of the first term and this helps keep the shelves stocked. 

UPEI campus minister Sister Sue Kidd says the 'Trick or Eat' campaign comes at the perfect time, because food supplies usually dwindle at the end of the first term. (Submitted by Sister Sue Kidd )

"It was incredible last year," said Kidd.

She said so much food was raised it covered the entire floor of the food bank as the students unloaded it Halloween night. 

Kidd said the numbers using the food bank have held steady since the start of the year, with about a dozen students looking for help a week.

She said smaller items, like peanut butter and granola bars, are popular — things students can carry away in their knapsacks. 

Costume optional 

​The UPEI 'Trick or Eat' food drive will start around 5 p.m. Halloween night, and will likely wrap up around 8 p.m.  

McCorriston said they plan to go to around 100 homes. Any UPEI students interested in helping out can sign up at the residence office.

Students don't have to dress up, but McCorriston is encouraging it. 

"You don't have to. I personally am, I'm going to be a ladybug, and I'm trying to convince other people to dress up as well," said McCorriston, laughing.

She said it's all in the name of a little fun, and helping out the campus community.