Agora Cafe gives out free fruit, care kits during exam season

Agora Cafe gave out free fruit to students during the exam period.

The student-run Agora Eats Cafe is located in the Macmillan Building and is an affordable, organic and vegetarian eatery.

The cafe started its free fruit initiative when it received a $27,500 grant from the Food Security Initiative (FSI) a couple months ago. This was broken down into $7,500 for equipment and $20,000 for food initiatives. Along with the free fruit program, this grant allowed the cafe to give meals to its volunteers.

The free fruit program ran for the past six weeks and was very successful, according to Cody Rector, the general manager of Agora. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of Canada in Prince Edward Island before coming to UBC, and said he is passionate about food and sustainable, affordable eating.

At the time of his interview with The Ubyssey, Rector said that roughly 3,200 pounds of fruit had been given away, and that the cafe would continue to give it away until the end of exam season.

“The food security fund has given us this grant and this grant has been invaluable in the reopening of Agora and made an impact in thousands of students’ lives throughout exams,” Rector said.

Rector said the free fruit initiative was based on feedback from the community.

“What we did was we just polled the community and we were like, ‘What would help you, what would you like?’ And they answered like ‘Free fruit would be awesome.’ It's healthy, it's quick to grab, it's convenient.”

Volunteers at Agora have also been putting together care kits for students during exams. These kits include juice, instant coffee, an apple and other snacks.

“It was basically intended that, if you're at home studying and you had needed to leave home to go and get a meal, that this bag would get you through another three, four hours without having to go and buy a meal,” Rector said.

The care kits were also available at other locations on campus such as Sprouts Cafe, another student-run cafe.