SAMRU Care Packages ease food insecurity

Support is available to students all summer long and beyond


A free SAMRU food and hygiene hamper.

The Students’ Association of Mount Royal University is offering hampers of non-perishable food and hygiene supplies to students experiencing hardships.


The life of a student is often uncertain, with very little secure employment available and weeks spent paycheque to paycheque for many. Something like a vehicle needing repairs can place students in serious jeopardy of being unable to afford their most basic needs.

The Students’ Association of Mount Royal University (SAMRU) is offering hampers of non-perishable food and hygiene supplies to students experiencing hardships. The SAMRU Care Packages contain enough supplies for one to two days and provide students with food security that can be accessed year-round.

Packages contain items such as spaghetti, beans, rice, canned meals, fruit, bread and cereal, condiments such as peanut butter, jam and Nutella, razors, shaving cream, deodorant, feminine products, toothpaste and toothbrushes.

Shereen Samuels, director of student services for SAMRU, says that 194 care packages were provided between March and June 2020, and 308 care packages between July 2020 and June 2021, for a total of 502 during the pandemic period when student access to campus was restricted.

“That is an average of 35 hampers per month,” Samuels says.

Samuels says that SAMRU has hosted a food security program for nearly 30 years, and when the pandemic eventually impacted Calgary, SAMRU had to quickly adjust by setting up Care Packages.

“We had to figure out how to pivot to manage sanitation and access challenges, and thus the Care Packages program was created in March 2020,” Samuels says.

“We have hosted a Calgary Food Bank depot and run our non-perishable food and hygiene cupboards since the mid-’90s, and have been running our free breakfast program in the fall and winter semesters for about 13 years.

“We are preparing to return to our normal food security programming in September, AHS guidelines permitting.”

All of SAMRU's food security programming supplies are funded by SAMRU fundraising initiatives. Member fees are not used to pay for Care Packages.

Set up a time to pick up free food and hygiene supplies by emailing reception@samru.ca or calling 403.440.6077.

Along with offering food hampers and hygiene supplies, SAMRU continues to offer financial security programs to all credit students.

July 26, 2021 — Rob Petrollini

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