At Dalhousie University in Halifax, the campus is extremely busy. Students returning for their first day of cla*ses in the fall semester come to cla*s with a full backpack, but not a full wallet.
The campus student food bank has been open throughout the summer, with the goal of feeding students trying to make ends meet.
The food bank uses resources from Feed Nova Scotia to feed these students. The food bank was serving nearly 300 students a week, with a spike in student numbers expected for the fall semester.
Misha Davies-Cole carefully rearranged some of their stock as students rushed to their first day of cla*ses. Serving the students has become extremely difficult lately, given the lack of donations.
Students who walk through the doors with high hopes of getting things like eggs, bread, and meat often end up with a can of soup.
The organization rarely received enough milk to meet the needs of the students.
“It’s very critical,” food bank manager Davies-Cole said Tuesday.
“Right now, I see students coming to the food bank because they had to choose between rent and food. Coming to this food bank enabled them to pay rent.
Many of the students using the food bank are international students coming to Canada for the first time. The food bank saw an increase in students being told that coming to Canada would not become a financial burden.
An international student from Rajkot, India recently came to Canada to study at Dalhousie. The burden of high grocery prices, coupled with rising rents, forced him to look for work outside of school.
Nova Scotia had the highest welcome rate of the three Maritime provinces, with 12,644 immigrants arriving in the province in 2022.
“I applied for 25 places and received no calls,” said international student Jeed Njani.
“Since the day I arrived here, I have decidedly found everything so expensive. »
The Bank of Canada has been aggressively raising interest rates since March 2022 to rein in decades-high inflation, including at its last two meetings in June and July in response to a surging economy.
The central bank’s policy interest rate stands at 5.0 percent following consecutive increases.
Headline inflation slowed to 3.4 percent in May from a recent peak of 8.1 percent in June 2022, but policymakers at the Bank of Canada have expressed concern that a market tight labor and a resilient economy could make it harder to control inflation.
Student pressure was experienced not only by international students but also by domestic students.
A student from Toronto came to Halifax hoping to find cheaper housing. For Ryan Drazlov, hopes of finding a roommate to live with did not pan out, forcing him to move into an expensive one-bedroom apartment.
“I didn’t expect it to be on the same level,” Drazlov told PKBNEWS on Tuesday.
“My solo spot is not affordable. Currently I pay $1775 plus utilities. It’s on Oxford, and it’s crazy.
According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Halifax has a vacancy rate of 1%, with the average price for a two-bedroom apartment being $1,449 per month.
Halifax Mayor Mike Savage has set up a task force to help find new student accommodation.
The Halifax Higher Education Partnership estimates that there are approximately 4,200 student housing spaces in the Halifax metro area, with more on the way.
One of the member universities of this council said that housing has become one of the biggest obstacles for students in 2023. According to the president of the University of Kings College, universities in the Halifax area must work working together to find a solution for university accommodation.
“Halifax universities know they have to be part of the problem,” said Bill Lahey, president of the University of Kings College.
“There is a student housing problem that is shared by all higher education institutions.”
According to the university, they plan to convert old buildings into student accommodation, doubling the number of student beds to over 500.
— with files from The Canadian Press and Isaac Callan
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