The Social Enterprise Club at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, previously known as KPU Pause for a Cause Club, focuses on educating and promoting social enterprise initiatives within the KPU community. The club organizes events on campus and fundraisers for different not-for-profit organizations.
Last month, the SEC donated 1,000 food items to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank to help those in need.
During the spring semester, the club raised $500 through a GoFundMe account for people to contribute what they could to those in need.
From January to April, the club promoted the fundraiser on their Instagram page. Their goal was to donate 500 food items, but they ended up doubling that number before they were finished.
“We knew that we wanted to do something as a club to fundraise something, especially with times like these, everyone’s kind of struggling financially. You don’t want to be worrying about where you’re going to be getting food. So, as a club, we knew we wanted to fundraise,” says Simran Gill, president of the SEC.
“We need food for survival, and that was the best thing that we could do.”
After reaching their goal of $500, team member Damanpreet Garcha went to Superstore to purchase the items. When Garcha went to check out, the manager saw her cart full of food items and gave her 20 per cent off since it was for donation.
With the club’s success, they also faced the challenge of being completely online due to the pandemic. Gill says it was difficult trying to promote the fundraiser virtually because many students at KPU don’t know the clubs that are offered. However, Gill says promoting the club on Instagram helped reach more people than they expected.
Terra Paredes, manager of community events and engagement at Greater Vancouver Food Bank, says she appreciates the donation made by the club.
The Greater Vancouver Food Bank is a not-for-profit charity organization that provides healthy food to those in need within Vancouver, New Westminster, and Burnaby.
“Having young people in particular thinking about us and finding creative ways to support us is really important,” says Paredes. “I love that they thought of us, and it really means a lot to us. Not just the volume of food or the donation in particular, but really the thought that went into it and the awareness that they spread on campus. Those things are just as important to us.”
In addition to the donation made by the SEC, Paredes has seen a lot of community support since the pandemic started.
“Food is a human right. Everybody needs to eat. And until the governments can come together and find a way to make sure that all people in our society have enough, there has to be food banks,” says Paredes.
“I would say without a doubt everybody that I work with wishes that we weren’t necessary, but we are. We are happy to be here and to be able to help until a better solution is found.”
Gill says she encourages people to join the SEC to get more involved at KPU and meet more students. The club is currently looking for executive members and ambassadors to join its team.