KSA to Reopen Food Bank and Offer Discounts for Fresh Produce Program

The produce program supports KPU farmers while providing an organic alternative for students

(file photo)

The KSA food bank is set to open once again this week and the KSA is offering students a 50 per cent discount on KPU’s Community Supported Agriculture program.

The CSA is offering a 20-week produce box subscription available through KPU’s farm school. It provides several boxes with a variety of weekly produce items.

It runs from June 15 to Oct. 26. The produce in the box changes weekly depending on the growing season. Customers can pay in one or two installments.

The small box subscription is $500 ($25 per week). It contains five to seven items which feed one to two people. The medium box is $650 ($32.50 per week), which includes seven to nine items and feeds one to three people. The large box is $800 ($40 per week). It contains seven to 11 items and feeds three to five people.

KSA’s sustainability coordinator, Erin Pedersen, says students can send an email to sustainability@kusa.ca to obtain the discount code. She suggests that students use their KPU email addresses and provide their student numbers in the email.

“It does still cost some money because you are getting 20 weeks’ worth of food, so it’s not necessarily serving the same students as the foodbank, but it’s another way that students can access local organically grown produce and also support the KPU farm school,” says Pedersen.

Money raised through these subscriptions goes back to the farm to cover expenses for seeds, compost, tools, irrigation, animal feed, and so on.

This initiative helps farmers grow produce in their communities without going into debt every spring. It also provides them with financial security.

The discount code is exclusive to KPU students. Faculty and community members will not be able to get a discount.

The KSA’s food bank is slated to be back up and running this week. Coordinators were quick to find a safe way to distribute food hampers during the pandemic. Piper Greekas, Student Services Manager for the food bank, says they are looking to launch the program by June 10.

“We are just waiting on confirmation from KPU because we are going to be using campuses, so we just need to give them a copy of our safety plan,” says Greekas.

The food bank is offering food pick-ups at the Surrey, Richmond, and Langley campuses.

“Right now, we are only available to pick up your food once a week, so we are going to be open on Wednesday from noon to 5:00 pm,” says Greekas.

If the pandemic continues, Greekas says the food bank will add a second day for pick-ups. Until then, they will keep Wednesdays open for distribution.

“We have [students] pick a time slot between 12:00 am to 1:30 pm or 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm just so we don’t get hordes of students all coming in at noon …. This way, it will be a little safer for everyone who’s coming up to pick their hampers,” she adds.