LETHBRIDGE, ALTA. -- Food security is more important now than ever and that’s why the University of Lethbridge isn't letting COVID-19 get in the way of its effort to get supplies to those that need them.

The pandemic has already made shopping for groceries difficult. For some students at the University of Lethbridge who are already struggling financially, having some food security often takes away some of the stress.

That's where the 17th annual spring campus care parcel pick-up comes in.

Student Services executive director Mark Slomp says the event helps students who need food security and supports students who remain in housing..

"This time we’re giving out approximately 200 bags of groceries," he says. "In every bag there’s a different assortment of food. We make sure that every bag contains proteins, carbohydrates, canned fruits and vegetables – there’s a broad range of nourishment in every bag."

Slomp says 50 per cent of U of L students work during school, which means layoffs due to COVID-19 hasn’t made life any easier for them.

U of L minister Erin Phillips says she’s had students who’ve graduated come up to her and thank her for the help and support they received from the parcel pick-up.

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"About a quarter of our students are food insecure to some degree and of course now that’s accentuated, but we always have the need is just this year it’s more acute I think."

She says some students, such as international students who couldn’t return home and others who didn’t have a place to go, will have ongoing support.

All the food, which is mostly made up from church donations, was gathered a week prior to the event.

The campus parcel pick-up occurs at the end of each term.