THUNDER BAY – NEWS – The Thunder Bay and Area Food Strategy (TBAFS) and the Students Feeding Change (SFC) Project has partnered with Lakehead University Student Union (LUSU) to offer a 4-week grocery bus service for all Lakehead University Students. The ‘Grocery Bus Service’ pilot will begin on November 10th and run on a series of Saturday mornings and a Wednesday evening until December 1st.
“The pilot was created in direct response to the need we see among the student population for increased physical access to healthy and culturally acceptable food,” says Victoria Pullia, Intern at the Thunder Bay and Area Food Strategy. Canadian research has demonstrated that lack of access to transportation can result in increased risk of food insecurity, and the SFC project has identified that physical access to food and transportation to fresh food outlets is a barrier to food security for Lakehead University students. Meal Exchange’s Hungry for Knowledge survey (2016) indicated that 46% of Lakehead University students experience food insecurity.
“This is a great initiative by the SFC project and the TBAFS for our students and we are very excited to be funding this pilot project,” says Farhan Yousaf, LUSU V.P. Operations & Finance. “I hope many students will utilize the service.”
A bus will pick students up from Lakehead University main campus and Bora Laskin Faculty of Law campus and bring students to Walmart, Superstore, and the Thunder Bay Country Market. “Many students have expressed an interest in purchasing local food which is why we chose the Thunder Bay Country Market as one of the sites,” says Victoria Pullia. Buses will alternate back and forth to ensure students will have the opportunity to shop at more than one location.
TBAFS is pleased to support the SFC project in expanding their important work to increase food access among students from Lakehead University in response to growing interest and demand for local solutions to food security issues. “We thought a pilot project was perfect to get a sense of interest from the student body. After four weeks, we will have a better indication if this is a helpful tool for increasing food security for local students,” says Rob Strachan, SFC Coordinator. “So, if this grocery bus will help you buy healthier food, please show up!”
With support from the Maple Leaf Centre for Action on Food Security, Meal Exchange launched the Students Feeding Change (SFC) project and has been working to facilitate programs in Thunder Bay with the goal of supporting food security, access to education, and well-being among all students.
The ‘Grocery Bus Service’ pilot, funded by the Lakehead University Student Union and supported by the Thunder Bay Country Market will run on the following dates:
Saturday November 10th from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Wednesday November 14th from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Saturday November 24th from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Saturday December 1st from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
The Thunder Bay and Area Food Strategy works with over 40 partners across the region to build a more sustainable, healthy, and equitable food system. Visit tbfoodstrategy.ca to find out more.