AUSU is aware that food insecurity continues to be an issue for post-secondary students. There are many factors for this, including rising costs of tuition and living expenses and an insufficient financial aid system. Students often endure undue hardship while simply trying to further themselves personally, professionally, and for the bettering of society.
AUSU has launched a new Virtual Food Assistance Program for our members to turn to during times when they are facing food insecurity.
The program will run monthly. AU undergraduate students who are in need can fill out the application, and will then be put into a random draw for a food voucher. Each food voucher will be worth $50 CAD and there will be 5 vouchers given out per month.
The food voucher will be sent in the form of a gift card to a major grocery chain in Canada. In the case of rural or international students who do not have access to one of the major Canadian grocery chain listed, we will make an alternative arrangement for the $50 food voucher.
Students who are unsuccessful will be notified and redirected to other sources of support AUSU and AU has to offer, and will have the opportunity to apply again in the following month if they are still facing food insecurity.
Students can be awarded this voucher once per calendar year.
AUSU has compiled a list of other resources that may assist you in finding other funding options and wellness support.
Food Security Resources
• Food Banks Canada (National Listing of Food Banks across Canada)
Health and Wellness Resources
• Homewood Health Wellness Support Program (Counselling and Support for AU Students)
• TalkCampus (Peer-Support Mental Health app for AU Students)
• Nukskahtowin Meeting Place Resources (Indigenous Student Supports)
• AU Wellness Portal
There are also other scholarship options available provincially and nationally. There are literally millions in unclaimed scholarship funds every year due to lack of applicants, so we recommend applying broadly! Here are a few sites to get you started:
Advocacy and Representation
AUSU regularly advocates to the University as well as the provincial and federal governments for better student support and financial aid, and for removal of systemic barriers that students face in the post-secondary system. We will be using the information collected during the pilot launch of our Virtual Food Assistance Program to assist in our advocacy efforts and further develop resources to remove barriers students are facing. Find out more about our advocacy efforts online here.
If you have any questions, please contact AUSU at [email protected].