Food for Thought

The goal of the Food for Thought initiative is to decrease food insecurity on campus by supporting projects put forward by the University of Lethbridge community related to sustainable accessibility of healthy food for the campus community.

Did you know...

Food insecurity on our campus is an urgent situation, knowing that 1 in 5 students on our campus face food scarcity. Currently, 19.2% of students (around 2,000 students) occasionally run out of food and cannot afford to buy more.  Another 7.5% experience food insecurity more often or all the time.

Hungry? Short on funds? Need help with a meal? Our food pantry shelves are stocked to lighten your load so you can stay nourished. Visit 1 of 6 locations: Anderson Hall (by Counselling Services), Markin Hall (main floor by staircase), Student Union (1st floor by ULSU), Library (24-hr study space), UHall (4th floor by elevator), and Science Commons (6th floor by elevator).

Stay tuned for an upcoming announcement on an exciting initiative that will make it easier for students to access fresh local produce!

Contact the ULSU for additional supports related to food access: email  or call 403-329-2222

Do you have questions or want to get involved?

We want to hear your idea to support Food for Thought in the areas of:

  • Food Policy
  • Farmer’s Market
  • Food Insecurity
  • Food Waste
  • ULSU Foodbank
  • Healthy Food/Nutrition Accessibility
  • Access to Healthy Foods Off-Campus
  • Workshops/Educational Seminars

Send us your ideas


Food for Thought Fund Award

Through the Food for Thought Fund Award, you can receive up to $2,500 to help support a project within the Food for Thought program, to help combat food insecurity on campus. Your project must fall under one of the following themes above.


Swipe Out Hunger


Founded by a group of friends at University of California Los Angeles in 2010, Swipe Out Hunger is a leading non-profit addressing hunger among college students. They implement and support common sense and innovative solutions to campus hunger, including our flagship program, “The Swipe Drive”, where students with extra dining hall meal swipes can donate them to their peers. 

The University of Lethbridge is the first Canadian University to partner with Swipe Out Hunger. We are excited to work with their team to help alleviate food insecurity on campus.  

Learn More


Vegan Quinoa Bowl

Preparation Time: 7 minutes

Cook Time: 20-25 minutes

Servings: 1-2

Cost: about $7-$10 for whole recipe

  • vegetarian and vegan diet
  • high protein
  • exam week recipes
  • cooking for 1
  1. 1 cup quinoa
  2. 1 cup water
  3. halfcup spinach
  4. 1 avocado
  5. half large cucumber
  6. extra firm tofu
  7. cherry tomatoes
  8. feta cheese
  9. oliveoil
  10. vinager

Add quinoa and water to a pot and bring to a boil, let simmer for 15 minutes. While quinoa is cooking, prepare tofu by heating pan and cutting tofu into cubes. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and tofu cubes to pan and cook until browned. Prepare the rest of the bowl by chopping up the cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado and feta cheese into cubes, leaving to the side. Once quinoa has cooked and simmered for 15 or until all the water is gone, put quinoa into bowl, add the previously chopped ingredients, spinach and tofu. In a small bowl, add 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of vinegar and salt, mix and then add to bowl. Stir up bowl then enjoy.

Crockpot Fajitas

Prep Time: 10 minuets 

Cook Time: 6 hours 

Total Time: 6hours 10 minuets 

Serves 6 

Cost of entire dish (all 6 servings)- All purchased from Walmart, Canada 

-Crockpot (Depending on size, medium crock-pot used in recipe)-$24 

-Chicken Breasts-$5.50 

-Taco Seasoning-$1.47 (comes with 4 packages of seasoning when bought)  

-Cumin-$1.97 (97g bag of spice, buy only once and get many uses)  

-2 Bell Peppers-$3.64 



                     = Total Cost (Not including crock-pot): $17.20 

2 Chicken Breasts  

1 Package Taco Seasoning  

2tsp Cumin  

2 Bell Peppers (one red and one green, sliced) 

1 Yellow Onion Sliced  

16oz Salsa  

  1. Chop onion and bell peppers into large chunks. Place chicken breasts at bottom of the crockpot (if chicken breasts are very large, cut in half first before placing them in). Sprinkle the meat with taco seasoning and cumin.  
  2. Put onion and bell peppers on top of meat, then pour jar of salsa on top of everything  
  3. Cover and cook on low heat for 6 hours.  
  4. Once done, shred meat with fork and knife, stir to combine everything in pot and serve inside tortillas (by choice) with sour cream and cheese, or anything preferred.  

Can be gluten free without tortillas or can purchase gluten-free tortillas  

-Very high protein meal, great for meal prepping and cooking in large batch 

-Dorm room style meal, only takes 1 crock pot and an outlet  

-Very good exam week meal/busy lifestyle meal, as you can prep it in the morning and it cooks all day, to be ready for dinner and for a few days 

-Relatively cheap, most expensive thing is the chicken breast but overall budget friendly 

-Only 6 ingredients, 2 of which are optional (taco seasoning and cumin) and can be swapped out with any other seasonings you like, however I recommend using the ones in the recipe (super good)  



Orange, Beef, and Broccoli Stirfry

Food Category: Main Dish  

Prep. Time: 30 min 

Cook time: 20 min 

Servings: 3-4 

Cost: $20-30 (depending on how many ingredients you already have) 

General Description: High Protein, Cooking for 1-2, Chinese Sir-fry/International  

Pound sirloin steak, thinly sliced into strips 

Tablespoons soy sauce  


Cups fresh orange juice 

Tablespoons siracha 


Table spoon grated/minced ginger 

Tablespoon sugar 

Cloves garlic, minced 

Tablespoons canola oil 

Cups broccoli florets 



Teaspoons orange zest 

Tablespoon water 

Tablespoon cornstarch  

Servings of rice 


2 cups navel orange slices 


Sesame seeds 

Step 1 

In a large Ziploc bag, add steak, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, ¼ cup orange juice, 1 tablespoon siracha, sugar, garlic, and ginger. Shake bag to ensure ingredients are mixed and steak is coated. Refrigerate for 30-45 min.  

Step 2 

In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil over medium-high heat. Add broccoli and stir until crisp/tender; about 5-8 min. Remove from the pan and set aside for later.  

Step 3  

Remove the beef from the bag, and discard marinade. In pan, heat 2 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Cook beef until browned; about 3-4 min. Remove beef from the pan and set aside for later.  

Step 4 

Stirring together, add to pan the remaining ½ cup orange juice, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon siracha, honey, and orange zest. Bring to a low boil. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon of water and cornstarch until dissolved; stir into orange-juice mixture in the pan. Cook stirring frequently until thickened; about 2 min. 

Step 5  

Add broccoli and steak to pan mixture. Cook until evenly heated through. Gently stir in the orange slices if desired. 

Step 6 

Serve with rice, and garnish with sesame seeds if desired. 


Healthy Brownies


Preparation time: 10 minutes 

Cooking time: 35 minutes 

Amount of servings: 12 brownies 

Cost of all servings: approximately $10.00 - $15.00 

Exam Week Recipes, Staple Ingredients, Budget Friendly, Portable No-Heat Snack 

  • 3 bananas 

  • ¼ or ½ cup of cocoa powder (use less if you like a sweeter brownie) 

  • ½ cup of almond butter 

  • ½ teaspoon of baking soda 

  • 1-2 handfuls of semi-sweet chocolate chips

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 o C and grease 8x8 square glass baking dish 

  1. Add your bananas into a bowl and mash until a mushy consistency, then add your almond butter into the banana mixture.  

  1. Add all of your dry ingredients into a small bowl and mix (save chocolate chips until last). 

  1. Combine wet and dry ingredients together in one bowl and mix together until it become a batter consistency 

  1. Sprinkle 1-2 handfuls of semi-sweet chocolate chips into the batter and then put the batter into your 8x8 glass baking dish. Spread evenly! 

  1. Put your dish into the oven and put on a timer for 35 minutes. When you take out your brownies, poke a toothpick into the middle of your brownies to ensure they are fully cooked. If they are, let them cool, serve, and enjoy! 



Preparation time: 10 min  

Cooking time:  

25 min for washing and steaming the rice  

20 min to cook an egg, vegetables, and grinded beef. 

Amount of servings: 

 (per one person) 

100g of carrots 

200g of spinach 

100g of mushroom 

210g of rice  

1 egg 

½ Tbsp of hot pepper paste 


Cost per one serving: $7.50 


Cooking for 1 

Meal prepping 


Dorm Room Cooking 

International foods 

No heat meals 

  1. Carrots,
  2. spinach, mushroom
  3. rice
  4. hot pepper paste
  5. ground beef
  6. and an egg 
  1. Pan-fry vegetables (carrots, spinach and mushroom) and put it in a bowl. 

  1. Pan-fry an egg and grinded beef and put it in the bowl.  

  1. Put steamed rice into the bowl. 

  1. Put little bit of hot pepper paste as a sauce. 

  1. Mix well and serve. 

UofL Food Advocates

Angeliki Pantazi

Angeliki Pantazi

"Food insecurity can take many faces, and it is particularly appalling when it strikes financially vulnerable and marginalized students. We urgently need to relieve our students from this stress that seriously undermines their academic performance and hurts their physical and mental health and social wellbeing". 

In the battle against students’ food insecurity, cooking matters 
by Dr. Angeliki Pantazi

Imaru Banquero

Imarú Baquero

Food insecurity is a problem for post-secondary students in Canada and is a barrier to student success, health, and wellness. International students are unfortunately more at risk due to higher tuition fees, limited ability to work during studies, and lack of family support. COVID-19 has profoundly affected young people, especially international students. Many are now facing an increase in racial discrimination, disruptions to their education and reduced employment options.

Jennifer Mather

Jennifer Mather

The quote “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish and you feed him for life”.  The Food Bank should be a stopgap, we need (to do) more. Then I began to read about Food Deserts, and to realize that the campus is one.  This has to change.

Erin Phillips

Erin Phillips

A couple of years ago we did a survey of students at the U of L and discovered to no one's surprise that a disturbing number of them were going without adequate food on a regular basis.  This confirmed what we had known anecdotally for some time...many of our students suffer from food insecurity. 

As a chaplain, I am committed to doing all that I can to ensure that our students are supported.  For many years my congregations, along with catholic churches in the area, and community groups and individuals have gathered groceries to hand out at the end of the fall and winter terms.  Now we stock the food pantries on campus and work with the Food for Thought committee to support other food initiatives.  

We know that brains need food and that they need to be able to focus on schoolwork and not worry about where the next meal will come from.  Food security is a critical post-secondary issue.


Food for Thought initiatives come to fruition with help from our donors.


Dr. Jennifer Mather

Dr. Mather is currently a faculty member of the Psychology Department at the University of Lethbridge. Her areas of expertise include behaviour of cephalopod molluscs (octopuses and squid) Schizophrenia, Women in Science, and Excellence in University teaching. She is highly dedicated to providing students with meaningful education and ensuring student wellness remains high at the U of L.


Dr. Jennifer Mather


Initially I wanted to give some money to the Food Bank or a similar program because someone commented to me that it wasn’t just students that used it, there were others working on campus that needed it too. While students are often poor, we take it for granted that this is temporary, but I thought it was totally unacceptable that others on campus were long term so poor that they needed to use the Food Bank.  

The quote “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish and you feed him for life”.  The Food Bank should be a stopgap, we need (to do) more. Then I began to read about Food Deserts, and to realize that the campus is one.  This has to change.

As a member of the campus community? Because, as COVID-19 has emphasized, we are all in this together and should all help each other.

As a student?  You aren’t passive receivers of an education but participants in a campus community.  You should help others, and in the process, you will find friendship and skills that will stay with you for life.

The education component. Students often come to campus with little knowledge of good food, how to maximize their money, how to make healthy choices… even recipes for how to cook simple cheap food quickly.  We are an educational institution, but there’s lots more to learn here than what is offered in the classroom.




Thinking Ahead Giving Back (TAGB) is Chartwells’ vision and commitment to being a collaborative thought partner in creating a safe, dynamic, and thriving campus community. Through TAGB, food insecurity is one of the challenges we are tackling together with our community partners.  The Food for Thought program at the U of Lethbridge is an excellent example of this.

Not only does this program assist with actual food insecurity but it also gives students a learning opportunity in this discipline. Chartwells is pleased to be able to support The Food For Thought program through Agility and eagerly anticipate the initiatives that the students pursue each year.