The Grub Hub

The team in the Arts Tunnel conducting their survey (L to R – HG,NM,HH,AB)

Andrea Buhler, Hongyi Guo, Heidi Hasenbein, and Natasha Mukucha

THE GRUB HUB

Food insecurity is a major issue on University of Saskatchewan’s campus, as found in Dr. Rachel Engler- Stringer’s 2015 study. The campus is not located close to any major grocery stores and the majority of the food offered through Food Services is unaffordable. While there are other emergency food resources offered on campus, there is some concern about the anonymity and accessibility of some of these programs. Our project will provide students in need quick and easy access to food resources without the concern of being identified.

While food insecurity is a complex issue that cannot be solved overnight, we can help tackle the problem by implementing anonymous, confidential and easily accessible “food hutches” in different locations on campus. These cupboards or shelves will operate as a food share system on a “take when you need and given when you can” basis and are designed to be self-sustaining. Students can take from the hutches when they are in need, and donations can be added to the hutches by those who have the means. Our goal is to open food hutches in numerous locations across campus where they can be safely accessed without judgment.

This project is important because social sustainability on our campus promotes the well-being of our students allowing them to thrive. University offers many challenges and stressors, and hunger is an issue that students should not have to suffer from at “The University the World Needs”.

If you are interested in donating either food or monetary donations for when the University of Saskatchewan campus is reopened, please contact

Andrea Buhler and Heidi Hasenbein at:

ajb543@mail.usask.ca and hkh249@mail.usask.ca

Total Page Visits: 261

13 Comments

  1. A very cool idea, I hope to see this up and running in the near future. Is the idea that you guys will be accepting cash donations to help stock the pantry? Or are students responsible for leaving food? Either way, I guess the question comes down to whether someone will be managing the hutches. I know there’s been some pushback for implementing similar programs on campus in the past due to safety concerns. Did you guys encounter any of this along the way, and have you thought of a way to address these concerns?

    1. Hi Jay,
      Thanks so much for looking at our project! We can accept cash donations to get our food hutches started but we hope the idea will turn into one of self sufficiency with students helping students and donating items when they are able.

      Working with ISAAC and the ASC was our way to make sure they would be in areas that have staff in their offices who are able to help us manage this project!

  2. This is such an important issue that doesn’t get enough institutional support at the university. You are doing important work with this.
    I noticed that you told Dawn that there is a way to donate and receive a tax receipt. Does that mean your group is a registered for this? If so, that is important information to include in your description of the project above. Could you include the details for how to donate?
    A separate comment: is there a way for people using the grub hub to leave suggestions for the kinds of foods they need? Often people donate food they don’t want to eat themselves, which often means the people in need don’t want to eat it either. A list of preferred foods might be useful for those who want to donate.

    1. Thanks for your input Andrew! We agree that a donated item may be one that somebody doesn’t want themselves but we hope that donations will be made with that in mind – what do people WANT to eat and what will offer the most sustenance and nutrition for the students who are making use of the Grub Hub.

      If you are interested in donating please email Heidi and Andrea at hkh249@mail.usask.ca and ajb543@mail.usask.ca and we can help you out.

  3. This is a great (overdue) idea! Indeed, you should get some traction at ISSAC, a favorite gathering place for students. Have you thought about partnering with Arctic Shelf, a finalist in Co.labs 2020 Co.launch? They already have installations on campus, including one near ISSAC. It might provide a “cool” element to The Grub Hub. Maybe worthwhile, for both parties, getting together and having a conversation.

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