Dear Ryerson Students’ Union,
We, the below signatories from the Campus Coalition, are sending this letter to request that the Ryerson Students’ Union consider opening the Good Food Centre for the 2020-21 academic year. We ask this with the understanding of the current climate of COVID-19, limited campus activity and the current labour disputes between the Ryerson Students’ Union and the Canadian Union of Public Employees 1281. Several students have reached out to our organizations regarding concerns about the current closure. Some of our organizations have made our positions known regarding the labour dispute, but the purpose of this letter is to focus specifically on the necessity of the Good Food Centre in building a campus that values food security, poverty reduction and anti-stigma for students and workers accessing food banks on post-secondary campuses.
We understand that there is a desire to reduce operations during the reduction in campus spaces but we implore the Ryerson Students’ Union to consider creative and safe approaches to maintaining operations for the food bank as several other post-secondary students’ unions have implemented, such as pre-booked appointments, curbside pick-up or deliveries. For instance, the York Federation of Students is currently providing food hampers on specific days (http://www.yfs.ca/food-support-centre). We also implore the Ryerson Students’ Union to maintain the Good Food Centre Coordinator to ensure health and safety protocols and procedures. The RSU collects a semesterly fee for the Good Food Centre, in the same way that fees for the Centre for Safer Sex and Sexual Violence Support are collected, explicitly for the reason to provide these services with a full-time and part-time staff component that focuses on providing food relief services to students. COVID-19 means our members need us more than ever before, particularly members facing food insecurity.
All of our organizations recognize and respect the autonomy of the Ryerson Students’ Union to determine their own operations – which is why many of us supported the campaign to Rebuild the RSU. We ask that you take these considerations to heart and consider the re-opening of the Good Food Centre for the Fall and Winter terms.
Thank you for your time and we are happy to discuss further.
Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson
Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3904
Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 1281
Ryerson Faculty Association