Food Centre

Because of the COVID crisis, our Food Centre looks slightly different. The UTMSU Food Centre currently remains open with restrictions. Students are asked to fill out and submit this form for their pick-up order and time: Food Centre Pick-Up Form. Forms are due the Sunday before pick-up. Please feel free to email for inquiries.

We thank you for your patience and understanding.

The UTMSU Food Centre is a place that provides access to good food for all students and community members who are food insecure. Some students are forced to choose between buying textbooks and buying food, and we believe that no student should have to make that choice.

Our Centre works to create community building, alternative access to good food and challenge the structures that create food insecurity. This work is accomplished by facilitating access to good food for all food-insecure students while addressing the issues that create food insecurity in the first place.

We wish to be part of creating a world where food insecurity does not exist by following these key principles:

  • Food is a human right. We recognize that access to good food is a human right, which is being systematically stripped away from individuals through systems of inequality and oppression.
  • Community building. We aim to create an involved community that challenges the social structure of passive food consumption. We wish to create an engaged community where people learn and exchange ideas related to food in order to drive change. We wish to not only provide our members with food assistance but with a welcoming space that is conducive to a feeling of belonging and engagement.
  • Sustainability. We wish to bridge the gap between food accessibility/security and sustainability. We believe that a sustainable food system is one where everyone has equal access to good food. An accessible food system is one where the environment is valued.
  • Allies with farmers and workers. We wish to connect people at all corners of the food system, from farmers to workers, to students. We believe that working with other groups across the food system can create good change and mutual benefits.
  • Dignified immediate assistance. We believe that a good food access service is one that provides its members with real and good food that is wholesome and delicious. We recognize that individuals are not to be blamed for their food insecurity. Therefore, we prioritize the comfort of our members and their voices.
  • Long-term solutions and not just band-aids. We believe that a greater change to the food system is necessary to prevent food insecurity and poverty. Therefore, we aim to challenge and change the structures that create food insecurity in the first place.
  • Food democracy and community engagement. We believe in change from the grassroots. We will ensure that students who benefit from and use this service are involved in the decision-making. We wish to engage food-insecure students in constructing their own solutions and responses to hunger.
  • Inclusivity. We wish to create spaces that are free of discrimination based on race, ethnicity, citizenship, language, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, sex, and mental and physical abilities. We also wish to address the intersection of food insecurity and various forms of social marginalization.

To maintain this service and increase our programming, we could always use contributions. We have set up donation bins at the Student Centre, right next to the Information Desk.

Large quantities can be dropped off in room 2102 in the Davis Building.

We ask that all contributors recognize their privilege and recognize that food and basic necessities are human rights, not charity. We are providing an essential service to students who have been systemically and institutionally stripped away from the right to access food and basic necessities.

When providing a contribution, please ask yourself why you are dropping it in. Individuals accessing our service require the same amount of nutrition and quality of goods as you. Please do not give us something that you would consider to be waste, useless, tasteless or unwanted.

  • We are currently in high demand for the following items:
  • Canned Salmon.
  • Canned turkey, ham and chicken.
  • Canned fruits and vegetables (except pineapples, corn and carrots)
  • Cooking necessities: Vinegar, Oil, butter, sugar, salt.
  • Soya and almond milk.
  • Toiletries: toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, conditioner, body soap, lotion, etc.
  • Home products: dish soap, laundry detergent, dish scrub, etc…

Access to food is a human right, not a class privilege.

The Food Centre is a service that offers free access to food for all UTM students. Students who choose to become members of the Food Centre can access free non-perishable food without limits. Non-perishable food includes cans of fruits and meat, rice, pasta, etc. We also provide perishable food once a month based on a shopping list system. This service now offers toys, clothes, home necessities and toiletries.

This is a place where any student can access food at any time. We run on the principles of food as a human right and food democracy. Students using this service are active equals. This service is controlled and governed by the people who use it. Keep in mind that this service is funded by a student levy that every student contributes to. All students who are struggling financially are entitled to this service.

The Food Centre is located in room 2102 at the Davis Building. Members can use this service by either dropping in the Centre. We also provide accommodation for those who wish to order food online, but there are some pros and cons to this. All students will be required to fill out a registration form to become members. Registration takes less than 5 minutes and does not require any financial checks, and personal information is optional. The Food Centre also provides a number of confidential services. Please click on “confidentiality” to learn more.

Still not sure if this service is for you? Many students feel that they are not “poor enough” to be using this service.  This is due to the social misrepresentation of food insecurity and poverty. The following questions are there to help YOU determine for yourself whether or not you wish to become a member. These questions are only there to help you decide for yourself, we do not require an answer to these questions and these questions are not exhaustive.

  • Do you feel that you cannot afford to eat healthy?
  • Do you feel that you have to compromise on the quality and/or quantity of food you eat because of economic insecurity?
  • Are you experiencing any economic insecurity? Are you having difficulty making ends meet?
  • Do you feel pressured to compromise spending on other necessary things such as textbook purchases in order to afford food?

All students must register as Food Centre members in order to access this service. Students will be asked to fill out an application form with only the most basic information in order to become members. No financial checks are required in order to register. We do have an optional anonymous survey that you can fill out with your registration form, all of the information that you will provide will be kept confidential and never shared without your permission. It will also be stored separately from your registration form, that way the information you share in your optional survey cannot be linked to your identity even by our coordinator. We collect this information in order to maintain our statistics data and keep track of our usage. It helps us identify sub-populations within our membership in order to provide more services that best suit your needs and to reflect on our own service.

Because of the COVID crisis, our Food Centre looks slightly different. The UTMSU Food Centre currently remains open with restrictions. Students are asked to fill out and submit this form for their pick-up order and time: Food Centre Pick-Up Form. Forms are due the Sunday before pick-up. Please feel free to email for inquiries.

We thank you for your patience and understanding.

Two possible methods for food pickup:

  • Drop-in “Confidential Hours”. Students may ‘drop in’ the office during our Confidential Hours. Due to COVID students are asked to place their order and pick it up on the spot. For Confidential Hours only the Food Centre coordinators or the VP of Equity are allowed in the office with you. Keep in mind that all our volunteers receive training and sign a contract to uphold your confidentiality and safety as well.
  • Discrete pick-up. Members can place an order online by emailing or submit this form: Food Centre Pick-Up Form and pick up their orders at a discrete location for the sake of their comfort. You will be informed about the time and place of the location once we receive an e-mail. We ask that you please be specific in your orders. For example, if you wish to order canned vegetables, please specify what kind of vegetables you wish to order (i.e. canned carrots). Through this method, we can only serve members with non-perishable food items. If you wish to order produce/fresh food, we ask that you please use method #1.

What it is:

Community Food Gardens are a place where Food Centre members and all students are encouraged to grow their own food. Students will learn how to grow and maintain the garden. The food that grows in that space will be distributed between volunteers and our programs. This ensures that fresh organic vegetables and fruits are always accessible at the Food Centre.



We wish to empower students to control their own food and have access to healthy sustainable food. This also aims to create an environment where people could talk about food insecurity, health and sustainability. It is a space for our members to access food that they grow themselves, enabling them to control the food they eat! This also ensures that the Food Centre does not rely on and thereby reinforce the powers of the food system that creates food insecurity and unhealthy food in the first place.


Where it is:

Our garden is located right next to the McGrath Residence. Right across the street from the small pond you will find the townhouses of the McGrath Residence. The garden is located in a fenced-off area right next to Parking Lot 10. We also keep a few plants indoor in the hopes of launching a full indoor food gardening project in the future (click here if you want to be involved in the planning).




The Urban Agriculture Club at UTM founded the Community Food Garden. After the executives of the club began were ready to graduate, one of the founders approached the Food Centre coordinator and offered to pass on the garden to the Food Centre’s supervision. With permission and assistance from the Grounds Department as well as the Campus Sustainability Coordinator, we were able to gain access to the lot in the summer of 2014.

Seed Library-01

The time has finally come – the UTMSU Seed Library, a new service to the UTMSU Food Centre, has opened! The primary goals of this service are to supply community members with free access to seeds, gardening materials, rentable equipment, community garden plots, and educational workshops. However, in light of current circumstances, the UTMSU Seed Library is currently focusing on the development of gardening care packages to help students destress and support supplementary food production at home. Our first herb-growing package goes out this month which will include seeds, soil and clay pots for pick-up at the UTMSU Student Centre.

Seed Library Care Packages
Looking to grow some vegetables this summer? The UTMSU Seed Library will be mailing out pre-packaged seeds to support summer gardening projects within the greater UTM community. Students can sign up to select which pre-set seed package they would like to receive using one of four order forms we have created.

Package A contains seeds for cucumber, green onion, tomatoes, and organic beets. Get Package A
Package B contains seeds for snow peas, arugula, jalapeno peppers, and amethyst radish. Get Package B
Package C contains seeds for organic eggplant, butter lettuce, yellow bell pepper, and carrot. Get Package C
Package D contains zucchini, organic romaine lettuce, banana peppers, and red onion. Get Package D

Each pre-set seed package will include customized tip sheets to help support students’ gardening goals as well as recipe ideas to help students incorporate unfamiliar vegetables into their diet! If you have any questions or concerns regarding this initiative, please contact

Spots are limited, so be sure to register as soon as possible before spaces fill up! If you are unable to partake in this service, don’t worry! The UTMSU Seed Library will be operating this summer (in line with Peel Public Health guidelines) to support your summer gardening projects. Whether it be a way to destress and boost mental well-being or a means to support food production, the UTMSU Seed Library is here to support any and all of your gardening goals.

For questions, please email

Who loves Fresh Products? We do! UTMSU is excited to continue its tradition of providing students with healthy, locally grown, and sustainable food options through our Virtual Farmers’ Markets! Eating healthy and locally is an amazing way to support locally grown foods and farmers and help maintain your mental and physical well-being by nourishing your body!