On Nov. 17, the Career and Experiential Learning (CEL) department at TRU gave away 1,000 pounds of fresh produce to students who came to the traffic circle behind the Campus Activity Centre between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.
CEL prepackaged the bags with various vegetables and fruits, including squash, potatoes, apples and other varieties. Each student was welcome to one reusable bag filled with vegetables and fruits to take home. The event’s only requirements were to bring a TRU student card and wear a mask while maintaining physical distance.
The Co-op Coordinator for the Engineering and Architectural and Engineering Technology Programs, Tara Bond, was essentially the Fresh Produce Giveaway head.
“Desert Hills Ranch in Ashcroft donated about a thousand pounds of produce for us to give away, so this is our second year doing it,” Bond said. “Last year was about the same amount of donations, and it’s just for the student population.”
Although this year was different due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CEL department found a way to adjust. “We thought we would stick with our COVID protocols, pre-bag everything this year and just offer it to students in need through our social media from our CEL office.”
Bond hopes that the Fresh Produce Giveaway will continue to grow at TRU, as it provides fresh produce to many students.
“We’re hoping to build that relationship with Desert Hills Ranch and to continue this every year if we can,” Bond said.
The CEL department is currently only hosting the giveaway once a year because it is only made possible with help from Desert Hills Ranch and their generous donations.
Bond is hopeful, though, that they will be able to give away even more produce at next year’s event; “We’re hoping next year we can possibly match or buy the same amount that they donate so that we can double up and provide more for our students.”
At last year’s event, the CEL department held the giveaway in Old Main when Student Street was consistently busy. Bond said, “it flies typically. Last year, I think we were sold out within an hour. We were in Old Main, so [there was] a lot more foot traffic.”
Even though this year had its complications due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CEL department gave away the produce to students who were willing to meet them at the CAC traffic circle.