Dalhousie helping students become more food secure on Giving Tuesday

- November 24, 2023

Donations this Giving Tuesday can help stock shelves in campus food banks. (Provided photos)
Donations this Giving Tuesday can help stock shelves in campus food banks. (Provided photos)

Post-secondary schools across Nova Scotia are once again joining together with Dalhousie University on Giving Tuesday, which falls on Nov. 28 this year, to raise funds for campus food banks across the province through the The Food Security Project. Considering the rising cost of food and basic living expenses, the urgency this year is greater than ever before.

The Food Security Project’s success is supported with donation matching from The J & W Murphy Foundation, which partnered with Dalhousie to launch the Food Security Project in 2020. The Foundation has continued to be Dal’s Food Security Project matching partner every year since. The project doesn’t just support students at Dal, but will also benefit post-secondary universities across the province who take part in simultaneous campaigns to benefit their own students. Last year the total raised province-wide was $215,000 including the Murphy’s matching contribution.

Donation matching doubles impact

Lisa Murphy (BA’88, LLB’92) co-directs The J & W Murphy Foundation with her sister, Karen Spaulding. “The impact of student food insecurity extends far beyond the lack of access to adequate nutrition. Students can also face worsened health outcomes such as poor psychosocial health and a higher risk of chronic diseases. This all profoundly affects their ability to succeed,” says Lisa Murphy. “We’re looking forward to seeing Nova Scotia rise to the challenge again this year so that students get to stay focused on their learning during this important time in their lives.”

Above: Lisa Murphy, left, with her sister Karen Spaulding.

According to a Statistics Canada report released in July 2023, prices for many grocery items have continued to increase month after month and are 20 per cent above levels reported two years ago. The overall rising cost of living means resources that previously might have been reserved for groceries are now being funneled into rents, transportation costs, and other daily necessities.

At Dalhousie, 100 per cent of funds raised through The Food Security Project go directly to fill fridges and shelves at the Dalhousie Student Union (DSU) Food Bank and Dalhousie’s Faculty of Agriculture’s Truro Food Pantry.

Restocking the shelves

Mariam Knakriah (shown right), president of the Dalhousie Student Union (DSU), is excited to see how the campaign will impact the food bank. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to accommodate even more students,” Knakriah says. “Students are already struggling with so many things including increases in housing costs. These donations will stock the food bank shelves and help hundreds of students on campus.”

At Dal’s Faculty of Agriculture, Alexe Hanlon is a full-time student in the plant sciences program. When Hanlon volunteered to run the campus’s Food Pantry in Truro, she had no idea how much student reliance on this vital service would increase.

Shown left: Alexe Hanlon.

“We’re not managing to keep up with the demand anymore,” says Hanlon.

“When I started, we were able to give everyone lots of healthy food, but as the money gets stretched further and further, we are able to offer less.”

To learn more about Dal’s campaign or to make a donation, please visit: projectdal.ca/foodsecurity.


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