Non-profit soup bar opening at Humber
Chef wants students to focus on their studies, not on how to afford food
Humber College is getting a new pay-what-you-can soup bar meant to feed hungry students while helping eliminate food waste in the city.
“My theory is the empty stomach is an empty mind,” said Jagger Gordon, executive chef at Feed It Forward, a community food program.
“If we can fill those stomachs, they can make brighter new possibilities for our future. If we can address (student hunger) and give them their meals, then they can just focus on their scholastics.”
The not-for-profit program, which rescues food from food terminals, restaurants, supermarkets and bakeries, has teamed with Humber College and its IGNITE Student Union on the Soup Bar, a soup and stew bar at 205 Humber College Blvd. in Etobicoke.
Starting on Tuesday, the Soup Bar will be open from-11a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday and offer students the option of paying what they can or eating for free if that’s all they can afford.
Gordon said all the food on offer will be made by his team from rescued food, including food and food byproducts from the college.
“This is another way of showing how food that’s destined for landfills can be put into nutri- tious and balanced meals and give it back to people who are living with food insecurities,” said Gordon, founder of Feed It Forward.
The initiative follows a pay-what-you-can grocery store opened in June on Dundas St. W., near Runnymede Rd. by Feed It Forward, whose list of suppliers include Whole Foods Market, FreshCo., Cobs Bread and Fred’s Bread.
Unlike the Feed It Forward grocery store, Gordon said there will be no limit to how much students can take, and urged students to eat “until your belly’s full.”
Gordon said he was “gobsmacked” to learn how many children and students were struggling to make it to their next meal, prompting him to begin looking further into students and food insecurity. A 2016 report by Meal Exchange, a national charitable organization, found 39 per cent of Canadian post-secondary students are food “insecure,” with students surveyed saying the cost of food, tuition fees and housing costs were the most common contributors to their situation.
Monica Khosla, president of IGNITE Student Union, said demand among students for initiatives like Feed it Forward’s is growing.
“There’s a really big need for it, especially since a lot of things these days are going to waste or too expensive,” Khosla said. “With our initiative specifically, we’re tackling both of those issues.”