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MRU Foundation

NourishU Program: Fuelled by Canadian Natural

The university diet is typically characterized by a breakfast of leftover pizza and late-night ramen dinners. Fast and cheap food has become so associated with student life that it’s practically emblematic of the university experience but there’s a troubling side to the student stereotype. Recent campus data suggests 42% of Mount Royal University (MRU) students have experienced food insecurity in the last 30 days. Now, thanks to Canadian Natural making a generous gift of $75,000 over the next three years, chronic food insecurity can be tackled at MRU. 

In 2024, MRU is launching the NourishU Program: Fuelled by Canadian Natural to address the causes of food insecurity at the root and help students grow. Working with the guidance of Compass Canada Professional Chef and mentor Lee Locilento, this program will teach students how to budget, where to buy their groceries, how to meal plan for nutrition and how to cook for success. 

While several acute-need supports are already available on campus through MRU Wellness Services, the issue of food insecurity goes deeper than just a student’s next meal. Hungry students are less focused, less engaged and less successful. Driven by increasing cost of living, budgeting inexperience and simple lack of cooking knowhow, food insecurity is an underlying issue impacting students every day. 

The NourishU Program will do more than provide students with food for right now, it will build community through food and teach students about nutrition through hands-on cooking exercises. Chef Locilento will be working with students “taking it step by step to learn the skills they need” with the goal of “sparking a passion for a skill set that will serve them all their lives.” With the support of generous donors like Canadian Natural, MRU Wellness Services will continue to bolster students to develop fundamental skills for both academic pursuits and their personal lives.

To learn more about how you can support MRU Students through food security initiatives