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More B.C. university students are using food banks to survive

Saskatoon Food Bank looking at alternatives for getting hampers to people who use transit to access the food bank.
According to the Canadian Federation of students there is an increase of students using food banks. Vytai Brannan / Global News

It’s not just the homeless population that depends on food banks in Canada. In B.C., it is becoming more common for universities to have food banks on campus.

The Canadian Federation of Students B.C. Chair Simka Marshall says “there is a drastic increase of students using food banks every year at universities in B.C.”

She explains that in cities like Vancouver and Victoria, where the cost of living is already quite expensive, adding the costs of tuition fees is too much for many students. Tuition fees in Canada for an average bachelor’s program have jumped more than 65 per cent since 2000, the CFS says.

All this means that a significant amount of students in British Columbia are struggling with poverty. And Marshall believes there needs to be a change.

“It’s happening across the country. Students in BC are graduating with $35 ,000 in debt; which is $10,000 higher than the national rate of student debt. We are officially in a student debt crisis.”

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With this issue being a country wide concern Marshall thinks something needs to change because it is clearly not working.

“We have students who have to work two to three jobs and still use food banks because they can barely afford to pay for school. That is a sign that the system is broken.”

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