Sandi Rose credits the success of the Iona Campus Food Bank to its donors and volunteers.
The food bank is open one day a week during the summer, but even with reduced hours, she said more than 80 students utilize the service.
“Money is tight for students and even if you have enough for tuition and books, you may not have enough for food,” Rose said, director of the Iona Campus Food Bank. “It’s so important for their education and their brain to be well fed.”
During the summer, the food bank is open on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Located in the basement of Canterbury College, the food bank provides basics and essential items to registered University of Windsor students free of cost.
Rose said student and community volunteers like Sandi LaPorte, Caron Firsht and Charlie Kobryn are the heart of the food bank: volunteering to pick up donations, staffing the food bank, and working to create nutritious meals.
Those making use of the food bank have had a special treat this summer.
“As the executive chef of food services, I felt like I needed to somehow be a part of this,” said Paolo Vasapolli. “For me, this is about the well-being of our students and I’m just a small part of this.”
Using ingredients donated to the food bank, Vasapolli created dishes of chana masala and samosas served over a bed of basmati rice with an edible flower.
“My ultimate goal is to provide them with a meal similar to one they would get in a nice restaurant, even if it’s in a microwavable container,” he said.
Along with his time, Vasapolli also coordinated the donation of a large number of microwavable containers from the University’s food services.
During the Fall and Winter semesters, the food bank is open Mondays and Wednesdays from 12 to 2 p.m., Tuesdays from 2 to 4 p.m. and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Despite the reduced hours, Rose said the demand is still great and donations are always appreciated.
“Street Help has been tremendously helpful with lending us food and we’ll share with them when we have extra,” Rose said. “We are grateful for their support and from the help we receive from the many departments and individuals at the University of Windsor and other local community organizations.”
To make a contribution or to volunteer, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Iona Campus Food Bank is located in the basement of Canterbury College at 2500 University Avenue West.