Who can use the Pantry?
All currently enrolled students of Okanagan College are welcome to use the Pantry.
Is the Pantry free?
Yes! The Pantry is a 100% free service for our members.
Do I need to register to use the Pantry?
Registration is not necessary to use the Pantry, but you will need to provide your name and student number to the Pantry attendant each time you visit. This information is used for tracking purposes only, and is not shared with anyone outside of OCSU.
Does the Pantry have snacks?
No, we do not stock snacks in the Pantry.
Can I pick up for a friend?
No, each student must pick up for themselves.
What kinds of food do you have?
We try to keep a constant stock of non-perishable food items. Our staple items are:
- Pasta and pasta sauce
- Canned fruit/veggies
- Canned soup
- Canned tuna
- Granola bars/snack bars
We also sometimes have:
- Toilet paper
Please note that most of the foods we stock require preparation before consuming. We do not typically have ready-to-eat or snack options.
What if I need more food?
Please see our section below for resources in the Central Okanagan community.
If I only take one or two items today, can I come back and take a few more tomorrow?
No. Each student may only use the Pantry once each week, regardless of how many items they take. Furthermore, items cannot be banked/carried over from one week to the next.
How often do you restock?
We try to restock about once per month.
Where do you get your food from?
We purchase the vast majority of our food through the Central Okanagan Food Bank. We also occasionally receive donations from generous staff, faculty, students, and community members. See below for more on donating.
Can I volunteer to work in the Pantry?
We are not currently looking for volunteers to help in the Pantry.
Is the Pantry open over the summer?
The Pantry is available by appointment only during the summer months.
Effective as of May 1, 2023, the Pantry’s hours are as follows:
Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays: 10:00am – 2:00pm by appointment only (see below to book appointment)
Tuesdays and Fridays: Closed
Also closed all weekends, and statutory holidays.
The Pantry is located in Room A149, within the OCSU office (Room A148).
Book an appointment to use the Pantry
Donating to the Pantry
We are always grateful for donations! Non-perishable food items, as well as unopened toiletries and hygiene supplies, are always welcome. Please see our general guidelines below for items we can and cannot accept. If you are unsure if something is suitable to donate, please feel free to call us at 250-762-5445 ext 4250.
Did you know that OCSU buys most of the Pantry’s food from the Central Okanagan Food Bank? Thanks to support from its partnerships, the COFB is able to buy up to $3 worth of food for every $1 donation they receive. We maximize the value of our monetary donations by purchasing the Pantry’s supply from the COFB.
Donate directly to OCSU (no tax receipt given)
Donations are accepted during business hours at our office, Room A148 in the Continuing Studies building. We can accept cash, credit, debit, and cheques. Cheques may be made out to “Okanagan College Students’ Union.” Please note that OCSU cannot give out tax receipts. Monetary donations are dedicated 100% to the Pantry.
Donate through OC Foundation (tax receipt given)
OC Foundation is a registered charity dedicated to supporting students in a variety of ways, and we are thankful that they have chosen to support the Pantry as well. Donations made through OC Foundation may be distributed to food security programs on other campuses (like the OCSU Harbour in Penticton), so this is a great option for anyone who wants to support students across campuses. Donations may be made online and are tax receipt eligible.
Food donation guidelines
We can accept:
- Canned foods such as:
- Boxed dinners, such as:
- Kraft Dinner
- Ben’s Original Rice
- Cereal (must be factory sealed in packaging)
- Tea (must be an unopened box, or individually packaged teabags)
- Baby food/formula
- Toilet paper
- Hand soap (liquid or bar)
- Shampoo/conditioner/body wash (travel or full size) (must be unused/unopened)
We cannot accept:
- Anything past its expiration date
- Anything that has been used or opened, or is not in its original packaging
- Homemade or home packaged food
- Perishable food, or food that has a short shelf life
- Food that requires refrigeration
Although the following items cannot be accepted as Pantry donations, we are happy to put them on the Free table outside of our office:
- Clean, gently worn clothes
- School supplies
There are many organizations in the Okanagan Valley that can help you if you need assistance beyond what OCSU can provide. We have listed some of them here.
Disclaimer: These listings are intended for information and reference only. Inclusion on this list does not indicate endorsement from OCSU. We have made our best attempts to ensure the listings are accurate, relevant to students, and are safe and inclusive for all.