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A person wearing a mask and a red backpack stands in the aisle of a grocery store. They hold their phone in one hand as their other hand runs through their hair. They look stressed.

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

Plus: Help a fellow student this holiday season

December 5, 2022 — 

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, even a year ago.

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 can’t afford transit. Some are eating smaller meals or skipping them altogether. And what we want to say to you is there is help available. The University of Manitoba has financial support programs that will help you.”

Please check out the following resources:

UM Food Bank

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

UM Emergency Loans

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.

Community Resources

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.

Help a fellow student this holiday season

Since the beginning of the pandemic, use of the UM Food Bank has increased from 75 students to now approximately 200 each month. If you’re in a position where you’re 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
  • Pasta, pasta sauce and rice
  • Baby food
  • Deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste and body wash

These items can be dropped off with volunteers in the food bank: come to room 518 UMSU University Centre, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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