Food Centre

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The Naitsa Food Centre is here to help.

We have a variety of resources including emergency food assistance and information for nutrition on a budget. Since beginning in 2014, The NAITSA Food Centre has experienced significant growth, but even more so in the last year. In order to keep this vital service available and sustainable, we must limit our approved hampers to only our NAITSA members (credit students who are charged the NAITSA fee in their tuition).

Quick links:

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get a food hamper?
  • Submit the request form by clicking “Request A Hamper” above.
  • You will need to create an Ookslife account to access the form.
  • You will be asked questions about your enrollment as a NAIT Student, income, dietary preferences, and household information.
  • We will review your request and either approve or deny your request either the same or next business day.
  • You will receive a notification on Ookslife whether your hamper request was approved or denied, as well as an email. This notification will contain important pickup information, so please read through it in its entirety.
  • If your hamper is approved, you will receive an invitation to the hamper pickup event on Ookslife. These invitations are completely confidential. No one will be able to see the attendees of these events except NAITSA Service Hub Staff.
  • Come to the NAITSA office (O108) within one business day of approval to pick up your food hamper.
  • You must bring your student ID, a box or bags big enough to fit your hamper items into, as well ID of any dependents you may have.
  • We request that you pick up the hamper within 1 business day of approval. This is for two reasons. The NAITSA Food Centre needs to use our limited resources to help as many students as possible. If a hamper doesn’t get picked up for multiple days or weeks, the food inside isn’t being used to help other students. We also have limited storage space in our office.
  • Scan the QR code in the NAITSA office so we can track your attendance to the hamper pickup event.
  • Take the items in your food hamper home! You may request another food hamper in the next request period (the next 1st or 16th day of each month).
What kind of food is in the hampers?

NAITSA’s Food Centre is currently only equipped to provide non-perishable food to students. This includes products like peanut butter, canned products (inducing canned soups, vegetables, proteins and fruits), dried kinds of pasta and rice, and some snacks like granola bars and applesauce. We also provide limited hygiene items based on availability, for example, deodorant, toothpaste and toothbrushes, feminine hygiene products, or razors.

If you are in need of perishable food items, please contact the Edmonton Food Bank.

I have dietary restrictions, can I get a food hamper?
Yes! NAITSA’s Food Centre will do our best to accommodate dietary restrictions like vegetarianism and allergies. However, we do have limited resources, so we may not be able to fully accommodate some restrictions such as gluten-free or halal.
How often can I receive a hamper?

You can receive two hampers per month. Each month has two periods, the beginning of the month (1st – 15th) and the end of the month (16th – 31st) You may only submit requests once per period. Once we approve your submission, we will also provide you the date you can request your next hamper.

For example:

If you submit a request on the 3rd of the month, your next opportunity to request a hamper will be the 16th. If you submit a request on the 31st of the month, your next opportunity to request a hamper will be the 1st of the following month (the day after your request).

When will I get my hamper?

We typically approve hampers on the same business day that it was requested. If you requested a hamper in the evening, we usually can have it ready for pickup the next business day. We request that you pick up the hamper within 24 hours of receiving approval, so please keep that in mind when you submit the request form.

Please do not come to pick up your hamper before you’ve received approval.

Can I get a hamper for others in my family?

Yes, in the hamper request form, there will be a place for you to input household information. Here you can indicate how many dependents you have, and we can build your hamper accordingly. Dependents are family members that depend on you like a spouse or children. Siblings and roommates do not count as dependents, so we are unable to include additional items for them in your food hamper.

I am an international student. Can I access the NAITSA Food Center? Will NAIT notify Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)?

The NAITSA Food Centre is a service available to all NAITSA members who require emergency food assistance. The service is confidential; NAITSA does not notify any third parties if you choose to access this service. Therefore, accessing the NAITSA Food Centre does not have any impact on your immigration status with NAIT or IRCC.

If you have any questions and concerns regarding accessing services in Canada as an international student and how they could impact your status, please feel free to submit any Immigration questions through NAIT.ca/help. You can also book an appointment with an advisor here.

Food for thought

Suggested Donations

High Need Products

  • Canned Vegetables (e.g. Corn, Peas, Carrots, etc.)
  • Canned Fruits (e.g. Peaches, Pineapple, Applesauce, etc)
  • Powdered Milk
  • Peanut Butter
  • Rice Products (e.g. Uncle Ben’s Sidekicks)
  • Additionally, NAITSA will gladly accept toiletries and hygiene products – razors, toothbrushes, travel size soaps/shampoos, etc.

Additional Information

  • Pop-top cans are preferable to cans requiring a can opener, if possible
  • Donations of items such as Chef Boyardee, etc. are wonderful, but they also are only useful for a single meal – items such as those on the above list, however, can be stretched out over meals if need be.
  • Although we appreciate all donations, we would ask that donors pay attention to product expiration dates before donating to the NAITSA Food Centre.

PLEASE NOTE: At this time, the Food Centre CANNOT accept perishable food items (produce, non powdered dairy,meat products).

Information on Best Before Dates

Many consumers have concerns around expiry/best before dates on their food products. For the non-perishable items we collect, these dates are no indication of food safety –as long as they are unopened, the products are still perfectly safe to consume without any health risks. ‘Best Before’ dates on non-perishable products are used to indicate optimum freshness – after the indicated date the food may lose some of its freshness and nutritional value, and may have a slightly different texture. However, it will still be safe to consume.

Keeping all that in mind, we here at the NAITSA Food Centre do encourage donors to pay attention to ‘Best Before’ dates on items donated, as we can make better use out of items well within their dates.

More information on the topic can be found at the following links:

Meal planning with the NAITSA Food Centre

Hunger shouldn’t be a barrier to your education. The NAITSA Food Centre is here to help.

“Food For Thought” is a FREE 12-page resource guide on meal planning that teaches you the best tips and tricks on how to eat healthy even if you’re on a budget.

Download the NAITSA Food Centre resource guide and learn how to make healthy food choices, smart shopping to save money, food safety tips, meal planning, easy seasonal recipes and ideas on how to reuse your leftovers.

Community Support

Edmonton and Area Food Banks

The Edmonton Food Bank can provide you with a food hamper that includes perishable food items (produce, meat products, eggs, etc based on what they have).

Those in need can either call The Edmonton Food Bank at 780-425-4190 or you can contact NAITSA at 780-471-8855, email foodcentre@nait.ca or in our office O108, and we can provide a one-time referral for you.

The Edmonton Food Bank staff can provide you with a location closer to your home if you call 780-425-4190. You will need a valid photo ID and bags to carry the food when picking it up.

https://www.edmontonsfoodbank.com/need-help/

***Please note that if you request a one-time referral from us, you are expected to pick it up at the Edmonton Food Bank in a timely manner.

– St. Albert Food Bank: https://stalbertfoodbankandcommunityvillage.com/– Fort Saskatchewan Food Bank: https://fortsaskatchewanfoodbank.com/– Leduc & District Food Bank: https://www.ldfb.ca/– Spruce Grove Food Bank: https://parklandfoodbank.org/– Strathcona County Food Bank: https://strathconafoodbank.ca/

* These Food Banks do not require referrals.

Wecan Food Society

Wecan is a non-profit group that helps people buy fresh fruit and vegetables and freshly frozen meat for $25.00 a month. Members receive three types of fruit, three types of vegetables, and three types of freshly frozen meat. You do not need to buy a membership or make an order every month. Unfortunately the NAITSA Food Centre is unable to act as a depot at this time, however here is a list of depots.

For more information, please visit Wecan Food Society website.

211 Edmonton

211 is an Edmonton-based referral phone line that connects people to social, government, and health services in their area. 211 can provide service beyond food needs and can specialize in referrals to your needs and area.

211 – Resource Lists

Flashfood

Flashfood offers great discounts on a variety of products that are nearing the expiration date. Flashfood is offered at multiple grocery stores.

https://www.flashfood.com/

NAIT Resources
  • Click here to download NAIT School of Health and Life Science guide to nutrition and oral health – Happy, Healthy Mouth.
  • Community Pantry – Learn more about this initiative.