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Worrying about making ends meet? Learn about supports that can help

Help a fellow Bison this holiday season

December 12, 2023 — 

We’re living in a world affected by ever-rising interest rates and inflation. Twenty dollars at the grocery store just doesn’t buy as much as it used to.

If you’re struggling right now, please know there’s support available for eligible students.

“We know students are facing financial stresses, especially as the holidays approach,” says Jane Lastra, Associate Registrar and Director, Financial Aid & Awards. “Some students are eating smaller meals or skipping them altogether, to be able to pay their bills. What we want to say to you is, there is help available. The University of Manitoba has support programs that can help you.”

Please check out the following resources:


Eligible students undergoing financial distress are welcome to use UM Food Bank services once every four weeks, at no cost to you, to help offset the costs of groceries during these times. To be eligible to use the food bank, students must be enrolled (full or part-time) in the current academic term. Find out more about the food bank here.


UM’s emergency loan program provides short-term assistance to students who experience unexpected and immediate financial expenses or constraints. This includes, but is not limited to, unanticipated personal living costs, and unexpected delays in government loans and other award funding. Find out more about UM emergency loans here.


Emergency food support is available through Harvest Manitoba’s food banks each month. To see if you’re eligible, have your Manitoba Health card handy and reach out to their food support line. If you’re an international student, you can use your student ID. Find out more about Harvest Manitoba’s services here. 

The Christmas Cheer Board provides hampers to Winnipeg households during the holiday season that include groceries and gifts for children 14 years and under. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply on the Christmas Cheer Board website.

Show your Bison spirit and help a fellow student this holiday season

Since 2020, use of the UM Food Bank has increased from 75 students monthly to now over 600 student each month. If you’re in a position to be able to support a fellow student, the UM Food Bank welcomes donations. You can make a financial gift online or donate non-perishable food items and hygiene supplies. The food bank’s most-wanted items include:

  • Canned fruit and vegetables
  • Canned soup and beans
  • Canned fish and sandwich meat
  • Cereals and oatmeal
  • Coffee and tea
  • Dried lentils and beans
  • Pasta, pasta sauce and rice
  • Baby food
  • Deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste and body wash
  • Feminine hygiene products (pads and tampons)

We accept donations at both the Fort Garry and Bannatyne campuses. Find out how to donate here.

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