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Nourishing News | Fall 2023 – Divya’s story

By Daisy Yiu
October 3, 2023
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You’re filling students’ shelves – so they can fulfill their potential.

Thousands of students face the stress of food insecurity. But thanks to you, students like Divya found the support they needed.

Divya* arrived in Mississauga last September full of anticipation. She’d long dreamed of coming to Canada to pursue her education and open doors for her future.

While her first year in Canada has been exciting, it’s also come with its share of challenges — especially the soaring cost of living.

“It’s just so difficult.”

Even though she splits rent with five fellow students, making ends meet has been tough.

“Our rent is so high here,” Divya shares. “And we’re paying such high student fees.”

Divya and her roommates couldn’t risk losing the roof over their heads, or missing a tuition payment. So like so many who are struggling, food was the first thing to be sacrificed.

Divya looked for a job to help pay for food and other essentials, but it wasn’t easy.

“From the start, it was difficult to find a job,” she shares. “And when I did find one, it was hard to manage my studies along with my work hours.”

Finally, Divya found a balance, attending school part-time and working part-time. But, she doesn’t make nearly enough to meet her needs.

“I make minimum wage. After taxes, it comes to 13-something. With the prices of everything increasing, it’s just so difficult.”

For some of her friends, things are even harder.

“One of my roommates has been here for five months, and can’t find a job. It’s difficult for her,” Divya shares. “Because of you, many students are able to eat.”

Thankfully, Divya learned about her neighbourhood food bank from her mother. From the first day she called, it was like a weight had been lifted off her shoulders.

“The people there are so friendly. They really help me,” she smiles. “My roommates and I can get the foods we like. They have the groceries we need so we can make daal and other Indian foods together.

Post-secondary studies are already stressful enough. But, more and more students are living with the constant uncertainty and worry that comes with poverty and food insecurity. Like Divya, they are making sacrifices and going without. Many are skipping meals, and trying to focus on their studies on an empty stomach.

Thankfully, caring people like you give them somewhere to turn when they need support.

“Now, I know I’m okay,” Divya shares. “I don’t have to compromise on my needs. I’m really thankful. Because of you, many students are able to eat.

*name has been changed to protect privacy

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