Frequently Asked Questions

Food Bank Q & A

Q: Who is eligible to use the food bank?

Our food bank service is open to all Ryerson students, staff, and faculty. We operate on an honesty basis with an open door policy, meaning that we do not believe it is our right to determine who needs our food bank service and who does not. We leave the decision to use our service up to the discretion of each community member.

With that said, our food bank service is intended for those who are experiencing food insecurity or are at risk of experiencing food insecurity in the immediate future. Examples of who our food bank service is not intended for are people who would rather not pack a lunch, people who are financially stable and want to save money, or people who want to collect food for individuals outside of their own households and/or families.

There is an incredibly high demand for our food bank service and we ask that you take serious consideration before registering with our service. If you are suspected of abusing our services your membership will be re-evaluated with the potential of it being revoked.

Q: How does someone access the Good Food Centre’s food bank?

A: Please see our How to Become a Member page for more information.

Q: How often can I use the food bank?

A: Each member can access the food bank as many times as they like within on week. However, members are limited to a specific amount of items determined by how many credits they are allotted each week. See below for more detail.

Q: How much food can I take?

A: Food is allocated on a credit system. Each member gets 10 credits per week to “spend”. Those with dependants get an additional 5 credits per dependent. Each item in the food bank is worth 1 credit. However, some items may be on “special” and will be distributed at a higher rate (ie 2 items for 1 credit).

Q: Why is the 10 credit system in place?

A: We aim to provide each member with enough food to last for approximately three days. Our 10 credit system is in place to reflect this and make sure that all our members have the opportunity to obtain popular items such as diary, protein, and snack foods.

Q: I noticed that last week tuna was 2 for 1 credit and this week it’s 1 for 1 credit. What’s up with that?

A: The amount of food we receive from our distribution agency and donors varies from week-to-week. Staff and volunteers hold the right to limit item quantities as they see fit. Attempting to barter or plead with staff and volunteers is not permitted.

Q: How often do you get new food?

A: We receive shipments on a weekly basis. Every Tuesday we restock our shelves for the coming week.

Q: I’ve picked up food and later noticed it was already expired. Why are you giving out expired food?

A: Our food bank relies on the donations of the Daily Bread Food Bank, the Ryerson Community, and other generous parties. Often times, we receive food that could not be sold at retail markets for a variety of reasons. Sometimes this is because they are close to their expiration dates. By the time we receive these donations the expiration dates have often already passed. However, these foods are usually still safe to eat! As a rule, we do not distribute expired diary or fresh meat products or canned goods 6 months past their expiration date.

Q: Why are your operating hours so limited?

A: Our service operates on a very modest budget, limiting our ability to pay for regular staffing. During the regular academic year, our service is run by three part-time staff who are also full-time Ryerson students. The operating hours are based on the availability of these staff members. During the summer, the centre is run by one to two student staff.

Q: Why don’t you ever have shopping bags for members to take?

We encourage all members to bring their own reusable shopping bags when they visit. We do not offer disposable shopping bags due to budget constraints and environmental concerns.