#GivingTuesday in Support of the CBUSU Food Bank: Meet Our Food Bank Coordinator, Annabel Alu

During this season of giving, Cape Breton University is proud to take part in a province-wide initiative with eight other Nova Scotia Universities to support university food banks as part of Giving Tuesday. #GivingTuesday is an international movement that encourages small acts of kindness and giving, whether through monetary donations, volunteer time or other resources. 

This #GivingTuesday, CBU is proud to be supporting the Cape Breton University Students’ Union Food Bank. Donations made to the CBUSU Food Bank today will also be generously matched by the J & W Murphy Foundation. The J & W Murphy Foundation is a private foundation that supports many initiatives in Nova Scotia focusing on education, and we thank them for thinking of the students of Nova Scotia during this time. 

Annabel Alu has been the CBUSU Food Bank Coordinator since September 1, 2020 and has seen first hand how valuable the food bank is to students.

“We understand the need and the importance of food security. Not knowing where your next meal is coming from can have an adverse effect on so many aspects of your life, including the ability to succeed in your studies,” says Annabel. “Because of the current global pandemic and campus being closed to the general public, we have been working extremely hard to ensure students have access to the food they need by bringing the food bank into the community. This initiative will help us meet this demand. We are forever grateful.”

Annabel’s major duty is to serve students using the food bank, but is also responsible for overseeing operations which include services like the Emergency Food Bank Program, the Emergency Bursary Program, self-isolation delivery service, the mobile food bank, as well as regular deliveries and pickups. The CBUSU even opened an off-site satellite location in downtown Sydney to give students greater access over the next few weeks. 

“Before the pandemic, we had approximately 180 students a month using our food bank,” says Annabel. “Since May 2020, that number dropped to about 70 per month because of the restrictions in place and students having less access to food services than before. But that doesn’t mean the need isn’t there. We just had to find new ways to improve services to students.”

Students in need can now apply online at www.cbusu.ca/food-bank for weekly home deliveries of food items and essential supplies, in which Annabel is responsible for. You can also find the Students’ Union van parked in various locations throughout the CBRM for students to stop by to pick up food bank items, hygiene products, and school supplies.

“We’re very proud of the work the CBUSU has been doing to ensure our students have access to food security during COVID-19,” says CBU President David Dingwall. “Students play such an essential role within our community and if we come together to ensure they have access to nourishing food, they will continue to embrace our community, making it a better place for all of us to live.”  

Annabel wants all students to know that the food bank is open to serve you. “This is the time to look out for each other in these trying times,” adds Annabel. “And here at the CBU Students’ Union, we are looking out for you. We’re here to help.” 

To access services offered by the CBU Students’ Union Food Bank, please email su_foodbank@cbu.ca. To support students who need assistance with food security and to ensure they have access to nourishing meals, please visit www.CBU.ca/Give