Tenth Annual ‘Trick or Eat’ Aims High

October 28, 2011 - Campus Bulletin

Every year since the “Trick or Eat” campaign began in 2001, the University of Guelph has collected more food than any other university in Canada. This year, U of G student volunteers hope to surpass last year’s donation of 19,323 kilograms of food items that went to 19 local organizations, including food banks, shelters and drop-in centres.

“Trick or Eat” is an initiative of the Meal Exchange (MX) – a national, student-run organization that engages students on campuses in solving hunger in their communities.

Led by U of G’s Meal Exchange group, more than 1,000 costume-clad students are expected to gather at the University Centre Oct. 31 at 4 p.m. After enjoying costume and best decorated pumpkin contests, they’ll board buses and head to Guelph neighbourhoods to collect, bag and then deliver non-perishable food items to the Guelph Food Bank (GFB).

The GFB receives its largest single food donation on Halloween thanks to U of G students, food bank operations manager Tracy Marchesich said. The GFB website shows that over 20,000 individuals received assistance from GFB food programs in 2010. Pasta, rice, canned meats and fish, breakfast cereals, canned vegetables and soup, baby foods and diapers are in great demand now.

Brittany Skelton, a third-year international development student, is helping to co-ordinate the event. “Students can have a positive impact on the community around them,” she said. “The programs and events that the University’s MX offers help raise awareness of food security-related issues, from sustainable farming practices to the increasing rise of ‘food deserts’ in cities. Food security – the availability of food and access to it – is fundamental to every aspect of our lives – family, environment and politics.”

According to HungerCount 2010, Food Banks Canada’s comprehensive report on national food bank use, nearly 870,000 people – 402,056 in Ontario – relied on the assistance of a food bank in March that year. It was the highest level of food bank use recorded in Canada. Food Banks Canada will release the findings of its HungerCount 2011 study next week.

“I’m trying to do my part to ensure that every member of our community has what they need to live a full, happy and healthy life,” Brittany said.

For more information, visit trickoreat.ca.

To contact the University of Guelph Meal Exchange, email meal@uoguelph.ca or phone 519-824-4120, Ext. 58212.

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1