What is the Student Nutrition Access Program (SNAP)?
The Student Nutrition Access Program (SNAP) provide support on the nutrition, health and wellness needs of George Brown College students to help them succeed academically. We also provide resources, such as information on food banks, government programs, mental health, and employment support; and educate students about nutrition to learn the basics of preparing nutritious food that meets the nutrition guidelines, read nutrition labels, nutrition strategies to boost immune system, and overall manage stress through diet, nutrition and healthy lifestyle information and resources.
What kind of nutrition information or advice will I be receiving from SNAP?
We educate students on how to eat well and live well using the Canada’s Food Guide (CFG), read nutrition labels, how to find credible information and resources on vitamins and minerals, techniques for de-stressing the mind and body through healthy eating, encourage healthy choices by presenting options, eating recommended portions of fruits and vegetables, providing strategies to well-being by making small adjustments to daily eating habits, and so on.
Will you be able to help me with losing weight?
People often think of nutrition in terms of ‘weight loss’ but it’s capable of much more. What we eat has a direct impact on our sleep, our mental wellbeing, our energy and productivity, and our ability to cope with stress. At SNAP, we are here to educate and motivate students on making small adjustments to begin with healthy eating to improve their overall wellbeing. Making small changes such as adding more protein to their breakfast would help suppress sugar cravings and in turn, contribute to a trimmer waistline and happy feelings.
Healthy eating is proportionate to:
a) Better digestive health
b) Freedom from cravings
c) Improved mood
d) Better concentration and improved alertness
e) Better sleep
f) Healthier skin
g) Higher stress resilience
h) Stronger immune system
i) More energy
j) Improved brain function
What services and programs does the Student Nutrition Access Program (SNAP) offer?
SNAP is a resource centre where you can obtain information, resources and referral on nutrition, food banks, government programs, booking appointment with a lawyer, etc. SNAP also runs the Good Food Market at Waterfront and Casa Loma campus, they host events and activities throughout the year, such as, SNAP Social Eats, nutrition month, community garden, etc., and students can have access to nutritious food, meals and produce available from the SNAP food pantry.
Sample SNAP services:
- SNAP Resource centre: a safe space for students to hangout, socialize and obtain information and resources on nutrition, food banks, government programs, etc.
- SNAP food pantry: access to nutritious food and/meals available for GBC students. Non-perishables, perishables, and fresh produce available.
- Good Food Market: non-profit, low-cost fresh fruit and vegetables available to all students.
- Community Garden: learn about gardening, sustainability, etc.
- SNAP Social Eats: learn how to cook and develop skills in cooking, budgeting, reading recipes, meal planning, and learning about health and nutrition and at the same time socialize with other fellow students.
- Referral Program: obtain information, resources and referrals on nutrition, food banks, government programs, etc.
- Events programming: nutrition month, mental wellness week, etc.
Is it true that I can book an appointment with the Student Financial Legal Services through SNAP?
Yes, students can head to the SNAP office located at each campus and we have staff who will be able to help book an appointment for legal assistance. Our staff can also help you book an appointment over the phone if you’re unable to visit the office. Students can also book an appointment by visiting https://www.studentassociation.ca/legal/
Am I eligible to access SNAP?
All current GBC students registered in programs that include the compulsory Student Association ancillary fees are eligible to access SNAP but must register by visiting the SNAP office:
Casa Loma campus:
Student Centre, E Building, room 127
Phone: 416.415.5000 Ext. 6314
St. James campus:
A Building, room 159A
Phone: 416.415.5000 Ext. 2845
Concourse level, room 031
Phone: 416.415.5000 Ext. 5356
Students registered in the TPE, Continuing Educations, and programs that are exempted from the Student Association ancillary fees, can still come to the SNAP office and receive information, resources and referrals, however, can only access the food pantry on compassionate days. Please visit or contact the SNAP office for exact time and day at each SNAP location.
What do I need to bring with me in order to register?
The student must remember to bring their GBC student ID and current class schedule.
Do I need to provide a printed copy of my current class schedule?
No, you do not need to print your current class schedule because we will ask you to log-in to STU-View to view your current class schedule.
Why do I have to register for SNAP?
As with other college services, such as counselling, there are a number of reasons why registration is a necessary step to get you started at SNAP. This is an opportunity to find out how best to serve you based on your current needs. In order to operate smoothly and ensure everyone has the same opportunities to receive food from the SNAP pantry, we must give you guidance on how we operate and distribute food.
Do I have to update my information I provided to SNAP every semester?
Yes, at the beginning of each new semester, you must provide your current semester class schedule to help us update your information on our database system.
Where can I get updated information about the SNAP hours of operation?
The latest hours of operation will always be posted on the SNAP office door and on the SNAP page on the SA website.
Can I come on the weekends?
Unfortunately, the SNAP office only operates on weekdays.
How much food or meals can I pick up from the SNAP food pantry?
To help us create equality in the number of items distributed to each student and to promote freedom of choice, each student is assigned with 5 points per week regardless of family size. Every item in the SNAP food pantry is worth 1 point unless otherwise indicated with a label. Students can choose whatever items they want to make up their 5 points, however, some items that are popular but scarce have a limit of 1 each and may be worth more than 1 point, and some items will be marked as “free” and are not included in the point total. Students may not carry forward their points to the following. Lastly, during each SNAP food pantry visit, a staff will keep track of the number of points accumulating and be present to highlight any issues they notice. For example, if a student takes two milks, they are asked to return one milk and select other items instead.
Can I visit all 3 SNAP locations?
Yes, you can visit any of our three campus locations: Casa Loma campus (room E127); St James campus (room 159A); Waterfront campus (room 031). However, you may only visit one location on food pantry/compassionate days, and must have enough points left to pick up meals or food items.
Is the SNAP food pantry a food bank?
The SNAP food pantry is not a food bank, it is an extension of the Student Nutrition Access Program (SNAP) to give current GBC students access to nutritious food and meals, and have the opportunity to speak and engage with the SNAP team and ask questions about nutrition labeling, how to use certain ingredients, obtain recipes, learn the basics of preparing nutritious food that meets the Canada’s Food Guide, learn how to manage stress through diet and nutrition, etc. Most importantly, the SNAP food pantry is not an emergency food program. Students requiring assistance on accessing food supplies to supplement their groceries for a few days will be referred to the nearest food bank by. Alternatively, you can contact Daily Bread Food Bank to find out where the closest food bank is in your area: 416-203-0050
When and how can I pick up food from the SNAP food pantry?
There are specific days dedicated for food pantry days and it varies at each campus location. This information is posted on the SNAP office door and on the SA’s website. On food pantry days, you can drop by anytime during office hours to pick up food. You will need to present your student ID card to a staff member to log your visit into the database system and then bring you into the food pantry.
Do I need to bring my own bag when I pick up food?
You must remember to bring your own bag(s) because we do not provide them. You can purchase a reusable bag from the campus bookstore if you forget to bring one.
Can I leave my food or meals at SNAP and come back to pick them up in the afternoon?
Unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to store everyone’s food items. If possible, please try to visit at a time when you will be heading home soon after, as long as, it’s during our hours of operation.
Can you save a specific food item for me?
Unfortunately, we endeavour to distribute all food items in the most equitable way possible, however, if we run out of the item you’re looking for, you will have to wait until we receive more.
Can I take the same item(s) every time I come in during food pantry days?
Although we allow you to take whatever you need with your points, milk and eggs are the only items we ask that you take just once per week because these items are popular but scarce.
What kind of food or meals do you have available at the SNAP food pantry?
Given our limited financial resources, SNAP relies heavily on food donations, therefore, the quantity and variety of food supplies will vary on a daily and/or weekly basis. Available products commonly include dairy, eggs, canned or dry goods and some fresh produce.
Can I go inside the food pantry with my friend even though I’m not registered and/or don’t pick up anything?
No, only the student signing in that day may enter the food pantry due to the limited space. We do have waiting areas for your friends or family members to sit.
Can I send someone else to collect food on my behalf on food pantry days?
Unfortunately not. In order to ensure food is being distributed fairly amongst all current GBC students, we need to see you in person, along with your student ID when you want to pick up food on scheduled food pantry or compassionate days.
How well can I be accommodated at the SNAP food pantry if I have a gluten dietary concern?
We often carry rice, vegetables, meats and many other items that do not include gluten. We also sometimes carry specialty gluten-free items like gluten-free bread or pastas.
I noticed that some of the food items are expired. Do you serve expired food items?
No. There is no expired food in the Food Pantry. There are two kinds of date markings: Best Before and Expiration dates. An Expiration date is not the same as a Best-Before date. Expiration dates are required only on certain foods that have strict compositional and nutritional specifications which may not be met after the expiration (formulated liquid diets, foods prescribed by a physician for diet, meal replacements, nutritional supplements, and baby formulas).
Best Before dates tell you the amount of time that an unopened food product, when stored under appropriate conditions, will retain its: freshness, taste, nutritional value, or any other qualities claimed by the manufacturer.
Therefore, we do stock foods in the food pantry that are past their Best Before dates because these dates only affect the quality of the product, they do not affect the safety of the food. Also, because we rely heavily on donations—often off the shelves of grocery stores who cannot sell past Best Before dates—these foods are often our only option.
What is the Good Food Market?
The Good Food Market operates through the SNAP program by providing healthy, affordable and fresh vegetables and fruits to students and the George Brown College Community to promote, educate and increase healthy eating, and student health and wellness.
The Good Food Market is available on the following days:
Casa Loma campus:
Student Centre cafeteria, E Building, first floor on Thursdays from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm from September to April.
Main Lobby, on Wednesdays from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm from September to April.
Can I volunteer or do my placement at SNAP?
Sometimes we do take placement students or need volunteers for events. Please contact the Community Services Coordinator for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org