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VIU stretching Giving Tuesday into two-week campaign

Give a Meal program will help students in need with food and finances
The VIU Foundation has started a new program for Giving Tuesday to help tide over students who are under financial pressure and at risk of having to abandon their studies. (News Bulletin file photo)

The Vancouver Island University Foundation is stretching Giving Tuesday into a two-week campaign to try to help students in need with food and financial help.

VIU’s Ancillary and Food Services launched Give a Meal, a new initiative, as part of this year’s Giving Tuesday campaign. Access to quality, nutritious food is vital to academic success, but with inflation eroding students’ spending power, it is getting harder for some to meet this basic need, according to a VIU press release.

VIU’s Giving Tuesday campaign started Nov. 15 and continues until Nov. 29. In addition to the Give a Meal program – which provides meals to students in need on a temporary basis through VIU’s cafeterias, as well as resources and support for students struggling with food security – the VIU Foundation is hoping for support for its emergency bursary fund that can quickly assist students who are in financial distress and at risk of having to pause their studies.

“In any given year, going to school and paying the bills at the same time can be a challenge for students, but this year is extra hard for some due to inflation and the rapidly rising cost of housing,” said Richard Horbachewski, VIU Foundation executive director, in the release.

Slava Govorov, owner of Panago locations in south Nanaimo and Ladysmith, provided the seed donation to help jump-start the Give a Meal program.

“As a VIU alum, I understand the pressures put on students, from academics to social and financial pressures,” he said in the release.

The foundation is offering incentives for donors to maximize the impact of their donations. The first person to donate, starting at 12 a.m., on Giving Tuesday, Nov. 29, and the last person to donate on that day will receive an additional $1,000 to put toward their campaign of choice. The first alum to donate after 9 a.m. on Nov. 29, will also be awarded an additional $1,000 for their chosen campaign. Gifts can be made online by credit card on the VIU Giving Tuesday homepage at or call Rowen Warrilow, annual giving coordinator, at 250-740-6216.

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