‘Sometimes they go to sleep without dinner’: Students offered affordable groceries at SAITSA Tedi Market

Long Wait: Students line up outside the Senator Burns Building on the SAIT Campus for the Tedi Market on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024.(Photo by Josiah Navratil/The Press)
A lineup of students stretches out the Senator Burns Building on SAIT’s campus during a cold February morning, but it’s not concert tickets or a celebrity sighting they are after.
Instead, it’s affordable groceries.
Held twice during each school year, the SAITSA Tedi Market is a chance for students to get things like bread, vegetables, dairy, snacks, canned goods, pasta and other personal or hygiene products on a pay-what-you-can basis.

It’s free groceries man, I don’t have a job currently or any source of income,” said Princedeep Singh, who is starting a software development diploma at SAIT and utilized the service.

SAITSA Staff: Jose Sandoval, assistant manager of student experience at SAITSA, stands outside the Peer Support Centre next to a Tedi display on SAIT Campus on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024.(Photo by Josiah Navratil/The Press)
This latest donation-based event was held on Feb. 26 in the Peer Support Centre and saw close to 200 students show up, with a line stretching outside the Senator Burns Building.
“We try to make this an extra alternative in collaboration with free breakfasts, to give food to students,” said Sandoval.
The efforts are appreciated by students.

“We noticed the increase in prices here in Calgary of food and housing and noticed that people are concentrating on paying their rent over getting food,” said Jose Sandoval, assistant manager of student experience at SAITSA.

“So, sometimes they go to sleep without dinner,” he said.

Free Groceries: Princedeep Singh, a software development diploma student stands with his groceries from the Tedi Market outside the Peer Support Centre on SAIT Campus on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024.(Photo by Josiah Navratil/The Press)
The need is a growing one, especially as tuition for many international students costs up to four times that of domestic ones. SAITSA is seeing high numbers of international students using the Tedi Market.
“It’s an option for students that unfortunately don’t have the resources or the financial support to buy groceries or personal hygiene items,” said Sandoval
This is a safety net for students that really need the help,” he added.
Apurva Patel, an international student starting a software development diploma, lined up for an hour to use the service.
“I’m planning to get vegetables and probably one other thing,” said Patel.
Free Groceries: Apurva Patel, a software development diploma student stands with his groceries from the Tedi Market outside the Peer Support Centre on SAIT Campus on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024.(Photo by Josiah Navratil/The Press)
This is just one of many events that SAITSA hosts to combat food insecurity in addition to the Good Food Box and Free Breakfast programs.
The Free Breakfast program provides free breakfast for students on certain days starting in Fall 2024.
The Good Fox Box allows students to purchase affordable produce on a monthly basis.
Anyone interested in donating to Tedi Market can drop off donations at the Peer Support Centre (NJ105) or the Resource Centre (MC107).
The next Tedi Market is planned for the fall 2024 semester.
For more information on these events, visit the SAITSA website.
Full Bag: Apurva Patel, a software development diploma student holds his groceries on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024.(Photo by Josiah Navratil/The Press)
About Josiah Navratil 2 Articles
As a news reporting and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Josiah Navratil is working as a writer for The Press in 2024.