Students today can have a hard time keeping a healthy and well-balanced life style due to financial and stress issues.
With the price of living rising, it becomes hard for independent students to afford food the body needs to thrive.
“Personally I find it hard to afford healthy eating,” says Aleigha Vanderplast, a third-year social work student.
“I’m a full-time student living on my own with very little financial support. It’s easier for me to buy a 10-pack of instant noodles for f$4 then to pay $4 for a bag of lettuce,” Vanderplast said in an interview.
“When student loans denied me last semester when I had a single income, it became harder to eat healthy. I went to the food bank, which often gave me food that wasn’t always the healthiest,” she said.
Recent research studies have shown that students who ate more fast food overall had lower levels of academic achievement compared to those who had a healthier diet.
“If I lived at home, I would definitely be eating healthy but unfortunately it’s unrealistic for me when I’m on my own,” said Vanderplast.
For many students who are unable to pay for food during some months, there are programs around the city that can help, such as the food bank or SAIT where you can apply for a food basket.
When applying for a food bank hamper you can call the number given on their website and will be interviewed, to determine if you qualify.
“The food bank helped me out in the couple of months when I had issues with affording food,” said Vanderplast.
Another program is the Good Food Box. You pay $20 for 20 pounds of fresh fruits or vegetables. This can help a lot for people who are struggling with the cost of food.
“The GFB operates by buying fresh top quality produce directly from farmers and from wholesale clubs,” according to the program’s website.
“The food is bought in bulk and dropped off at our warehouse. Our volunteers then divide up the produce into portions and put the Good Food Boxes together. The boxes contain the maximum produce possible in them for the price.”
For many students, stress also has a big impact on their diet. The more stressed they are, the less likely some are to eat healthy food, or even eat at all.
“During midterm and final time, I rarely ate because of stress. Or the opposite at times, where I snacked far too much,” said Luis Sanabria, a Mount Royal University student.
“Not only does school itself stress me out and cause my diet to fluctuate, there’s the stress of being able to afford to eat.
“I find that sometimes, I just won’t eat for a day or two because I’m too stressed about spending money on food,” said Sanabria.
“Although it is hard to financially support ourselves during school sometimes, I don’t believe we need any programs that help students out financially.
“It is a decision to engage in post secondary that needs to be thought out and planned. I think what is available is fine for this reason alone,” said Vanderplast
If you or anyone you know are interested in the good food box, check out their website https://www.ckpcalgary.ca/index.php/program-services/good-food-box