The affordable meal resource Fooood located in the Earth and Ocean Sciences Building will not be reopening this term.
Andrew Parr, the associate vice president of Student Housing and Community Services (SCHS), explained the closure was due to the high cost to operate Fooood, which he believes was not the most effective use of resources.
Parr said while Fooood was well-received the “financial resources required to operate Fooood last year were quite significant, far in excess of their revenue generators.”
However, Parr also said that they have been working with the Faculty of Land and Food Systems (LFS) and the LFS Undergraduate Society — who run the affordable vegetarian Agora Cafe — to expand Agora operations into what is currently Fooood.
While aiming to open in January, Parr expressed some uncertainty saying, "it may not [open], to be honest, but it might, depending on how that all plays out.”
Last year, Parr believed SCHS had "spread ourselves a little bit thin" and are now investing "more into certain areas that then really support students."
This will be done by continuing to support Agora, another student-run affordable food outlet Sprouts and the Acadia Park Food Hub. The Food Hub provides food and childcare supplies to people in the Acadia Commons Space. All three faced a decline in funding from UBC in the 2022/23 budget.
Parr said the vast majority of this year's food security resources will be going towards UBC’s meal share program. The meal share program offers low-income students services from a grocery card, money on student cards to buy things at food retail services on campus and all-access dining.
Parr hopes "the uptick on the other services" will offset the loss of Fooood.
He said UBC will also continue to partner with the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, and will meet with the AMS Food Bank to see if UBC can expand its support. In addition, Parr said they are generating additional revenues through fundraising and philanthropy.
Parr expressed his understanding of students' financial difficulties as the cost of living continues to increase and says UBC is taking the issue very seriously.
"We really want to make sure that every dollar that we have available to us to use for this purpose is used to put in the pockets of students."