Supporting Youth Experiencing Food Insecurity this Holiday Season

At Spud, we are committed to strengthening the communities we operate in. The holidays can be stressful for many, especially those experiencing food insecurity. For the holidays, we have partnered with Urban Society for Aboriginal Youth (USAY), Bent Arrow Healing Society, and Vancouver Community College Indigenous Gathering Space Pantry to ensure youth have access to the healthy food they need to succeed.

How you can donate with Spud:

Our Bin Drive: Add any non-perishable food items to your Spud bin from November 13 – December 2. The food will be taken back to our warehouse with your bin pick-up or next order and directly donated to charity! Non-perishable items below will be accepted:

Please note – food items must be within their best-before date and un-opened

  • Pasta 
  • Jarred/canned pasta sauces (shelf-stable)
  • Granola bars
  • Cereal 
  • Nut butter 
  • Juice boxes 
  • Mac & cheese (dry) 
  • Popcorn 
  • Canned soup 
  • Canned food (beans, vegetables, fruit, tuna)
  • Shelf-stable plant-based milk
  • Crackers
  • Rice
  • Noodles/instant noodles

Spud bin donation

Did you know?

  • A cross-Canada study (2020) found that 40% of the students surveyed experienced food insecurity.  

  • 68% of students prioritized tuition over food and other essentials.  

  • One in four students had skipped a meal 

  • 1 in 10 had gone a whole day without food due to limited finances.  

  • 16.8% reported accessing food banks when money was tight. 

Our Community Partners:


USAY is an Indigenous-led charitable organization that works with Indigenous youth who are 12 to 29 years old and live in the City of Calgary. Their programs are co-created with Indigenous youth, who have a voice in the work we do to meet their needs. 

USAY serves thousands of Indigenous youth on an annual basis, although youth-focused, our programs support the success of their whole family. Their programs are innovative, engaging, and fun, and are usually where art meets technology meets Indigenous worldview, which makes them entirely unique

USAY focuses on three main outcomes; healing, social inclusion, and successful transitions to adulthood, and although big topics, our programs and supports meet the youth ‘where they are at.

The Indigenous community has experienced historical and ongoing injustices from colonization, and for these reasons, they are more likely to interact with what is often called ‘the sorrow systems’, such as justice, homelessness, addictions, and overall poor health outcomes. USAY provides opportunities for youth to understand how history, systems, and colonization might have affected them and how they can reclaim culture and identity.

Vancouver Community College – Gathering Space Food Pantry

Conceived by the Dean of Indigenous Education and Community Engagement, Reba Noel (of Mi’kmaq heritage) The Vancouver Community College’s Indigenous Food Pantry Program was set up to provide healthy and accessible snacks for Indigenous students who were impacted by food insecurity. With drop-in areas set up in their Broadway and Downtown locations, the goal of this program is to alleviate hunger and support students in keeping up with their studies throughout the school year. Providing meals to over 600 students the drop-in spaces provide Indigenous students with barrier-free access to healthy and easy-to-make breakfast and lunch items.

In the last 6 months, I have applied for and received a few bursaries and that helps a lot with the rising cost of inflation. It made it harder a few months ago when I decided to increase the amount of vegetables in my diet, which is really noticeable on the grocery bill. To help offset the increase I work part-time around my full-time school schedule.”

“The gathering space at VCC aids in creating a feeling of support and community safety. Like being at a friend’s house and they offer you a snack to refuel.” – Vancouver Community College Student

Bent Arrow Healing Society

Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society supports Indigenous youth, children and their families in the Edmonton area through a variety of programs and services. Spud will be supporting their Journey to Success and Transitions to Success programs.

Journey to Success is a ten-week pre-employment program that offers Career and Employment information services and job placement through our Employment Resource Centre and a supported job placement program. It is designed to meet the needs of unemployed and marginally employed Indigenous people to support them in addressing barriers to employment to obtain and maintain long-term employment. 

Transitions to Success is a twelve-week non-paid employment program designed to support women who have the drive, desire, and determination to become employed in a career or profession that will financially sustain them and their families. Their goal is to assist women in securing above-minimum-wage jobs and provide them with the opportunity to continue with their education in a career that is compatible with their skill set. We provide life skill enhancement, employment skill development, on-the-job training, and employment support services while you are working.

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