Sepehr Kamal, Arman Mojtabavi, Kasra Kamal, Dahlia Parolin, Ana Korshunova, Guramrit Bamrah, Zipeng Liang, Ilya Patrzykat, Caroline Pengelley, Natnich
University of British Columbia, Emily Carr University
Campus Nutrition is a registered Canadian non-profit organization founded in 2019 by 3 students who noticed an information deficit in food and nutrition at higher education campuses in Canada. Our goals are to increase awareness about food and nutrition and to empower students to make informed eating decisions by providing convenient access to information. In August 2021, we launched a web-based campus food guide to improve the campus food experience for students at the University of British Columbia. Our website helps students navigate the over 100 places to eat on campus and find food & nutrition related student groups. We also launched our blog and social media accounts to educate and engage students on issues such as food insecurity and wellbeing. To date, our website has had over 10,000 unique visitors, and on Instagram we have a total reach of over 100,000 users and have 2800 followers. We now look to expand on our work by adding new features to our website based on the findings from our research over the last year. These new features include dietary information, menus, students reviews, map search, an expanded blog, and a mobile app. We also continue to expand our team to create more content to share on our platforms and to identify new ways to help students broadly around the topics of food & nutrition. For example, we are exploring hosting educational events, securing discounts to food outlets, and more. Our long-term aim is for Campus Nutrition to be the “go-to” option for deciding where to eat at campuses across Canada.
What Makes Your Project Remarkable?
It is well known that college students often struggle to maintain a well-balanced diet and frequently complain about the quality and cost of campus food. In our research, 45% of UBC students said it is not easy to find food that they like on campus, and 63% said it is not easy to find healthy food on campus. Furthermore, recent studies have found that 40% of students at colleges across Canada are food insecure. These data together demonstrate the significant current unmet need for Canadian college students. While we are not able to directly provide students with low-cost, nutritious food, our project is remarkable because we are able to empower students to make informed eating decisions, and promote a positive relationship with food. We have built our website with a strong focus on the user experience so that it is easy to use for everyone, and we are launching strong marketing campaigns to ensure as many students as possible are aware of our resource. As well, our project is remarkable because it has provided over 20 university students the opportunity to grow their professional skills, gain practical experience, and make a direct impact on their local community. We are proud that this project is led and implemented entirely by student volunteers, and we are excited to continue to grow our team and to expand to university campuses across Canada to help more students.
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