In the spring of 2020, Rebecca Nicholson, vice-president of communications with the Augustana Students’ Association, realized that COVID-19 wasn’t going anywhere and that the learn-from-home and quarantine orders would similarly remain.
Although, like many other students and people around the world, the pandemic put a lot of additional stress on Nicholson, it also gave her the time to pursue an idea that had been percolating since the year before.
“COVID really highlighted financial insecurity issues within our students, because a lot of people were out of work,” Nicholson said.
“I had been involved in discussions about the student experience at Augustana, and we often talked about the issue of food insecurity. Quarantine gave me a bit more freedom with my time so I was able to approach the issue. I didn’t see anyone else taking the initiative so I thought, ‘I’m going to be that person.’”
Nine months later, the ASA officially rolled out their food pantry — a service available to all Augustana students to supplement their grocery needs once or twice per month. Precipitated by a pandemic, a need and a great amount of hard work, the first few hampers were given out in December and January, and Nicholson only intends to grow the program from there.
Augustana is the University of Alberta’s undergraduate liberal arts and sciences campus located in Camrose, Alberta.
– Submitted by University of Alberta, Augustana Campus