Education

Students sign up to protest food insecurity

‘Students can’t actually afford to buy food’

Students will protest high tuition fees, indigenous issues and more at the Nov 2 Day of Action,
Students will protest high tuition fees, indigenous issues and more during the Nov. 2 Day of Action.   Jessica Caparini

Chris Dufour is a fourth-year student at Dalhousie University and has skipped meals throughout his post-secondary education to get there.

“Trying to strategize buying food and stuff, that’s a big part of my life,” he says.

On Wednesday evening he helped to create signs to draw attention to food insecurity through the Loaded Ladle, the non-profit campus co-operative where he’s a board member.

The event was open to all students who wanted to make signs to wave at next week’s National Student Day of Action, a Canada-wide protest that draws attention to student debt, Aboriginal issues and sexual assault policies.

The signs featured food puns such as “Education isn’t mint to be a death sentence” and “More stew, less student debt.”

“A big part of why I got involved with the Ladle in the first place is that … this is a spot where we’re looking to bring to light the fact that students can’t actually afford to buy food,” says Dufour, “and when they can buy food they may not be able to buy the nourishment they need.”

The Loaded Ladle educates students on food politics and serves free vegan lunches to students every week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in the Dalhousie Student Union building.

Chris Dufour poses with his completed sign.
Chris Dufour displays his completed sign.   Jessica Caparini

This year, the Canadian charity Meal Exchange released the results of a survey conducted at five universities, including Dalhousie. The study found that 39 per cent of students lack food security to some degree. The problem is most common in students with African, Indigenous and Caribbean ethnic backgrounds.

The problem “is a big by-product of being broke and having debt and student fees,” said Nicole Marcoux, administrative and outreach co-ordinator at the Loaded Ladle, who organized the sign-making event.

That’s why the Loaded Ladle is involved in multiple events related to the Day of Action, even though the protest is organized by the Canadian Federation of Students.

The Day of Action protest takes place on Nov. 2.