Tried-and-true Concordia food resources for students on a budget

Grab a bite on campus at one of Concordia’s many food initiatives

Photo Caroline Marsh

Similarly, Concordia houses many food initiatives that students can easily access. Instead of reaching for the vending machine right outside of your classroom for a bag of chips and soda, consider heading to one of these wallet-friendly options.

The People’s Potato

The People’s Potato, on the seventh floor of the Hall Building, has been operating as a donation-based soup kitchen since 1999. They usually serve a healthy full-course vegan meal every day from Monday to Friday between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.

“We are planning a soft launch of our regular pre-pandemic schedule, so we will start with serving meals three times a week instead of five,” said Karen Ounsworth, a collective worker from The People’s Potato. Ounsworth has been working at The People’s Potato for six years now. 

“Some of the details are still to be determined, but we might also have our serving time last longer so more students who are on campus can access a lunch on the days we serve,” Ounsworth added. “Once we see how in demand the lunch is, and how many students are actually on campus, we will adjust our service accordingly.”

For more information, stay posted on their social media to learn more about their volunteering program, and how you can get involved in the kitchen by serving 400 portions per day. The People’s Potato also offers free emergency food baskets every two weeks, usually announced online and via posters hung on campus, which are mostly sourced from Moisson Montréal.

The Hive Café Solidarity Co-op

The Hive Café Solidarity Co-op, with a location at each campus, has plenty of vegetarian and vegan options to satisfy any savoury or sweet craving. The café, located on the second floor of the Hall Building, sells chilli, burritos, soup, assorted sandwiches, cakes, and muffins in addition to coffee, tea, and cold beverages. 

“Students will be able to enjoy our spaces and use them for studying, and sitting to eat their meals while maintaining the 2.5 meter distance,” said general coordinator Calvin Clarke when explaining what can be expected from the Hive this upcoming semester.

“Students should expect our cafés to be open to them as of [Sept. 7], but we will be having a limited menu and hours for the first two weeks to get a feel of our capacities coming back after such a long closure,” Clarke added.

The Hive also has a free lunch initiative at their Loyola kitchen, which continued throughout the pandemic. They recently released a recipe book to complement it. It typically operates Monday through Friday between 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m., but they are currently working out the logistics for the next term.

Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard

Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, located in the Z Annex at 2090 Mackay St., operates on a sliding-scale donation basis. For a minimum of $2, you get a heaping plate of vegan food with a side salad and fruit or dessert. In the last two years, they were serving the community every Monday evening, from the kitchen generously lent to them by the Multi-faith & Spirituality Centre at the Sir George Williams campus. 

When the pandemic began, they shifted online and shared some budget friendly recipes to cook in quarantine. To find out their opening hours for the upcoming academic year, keep an eye on their social media.

Le Frigo Vert

At Le Frigo Vert, located at 1440 Mackay St., you can grab a quick bite while supporting a number of causes, namely sustainability and food security. They sell ingredients in bulk, in addition to an assortment of zero-waste household, cleaning, and menstruation products. They also have an emergency food bank program. Along with that, they typically offer a pay-what-you-can meal once a week—an option that was served on Thursdays for the past two years. Make sure to keep a look out for their events to learn about herbal remedies or how to participate in a winter clothing drive.

The LB Café and other on-campus food resources

If you’re worried about losing your spot at the Webster Library but are fighting a growing hunger, you don’t need to leave the building entirely to grab a quick bite. By heading down to the ground floor, you can find the LB Café, which consists of a Tim Hortons, Freshii, and Bento Sushi. 

You can find similar services scattered at campuses such as The Green Beet in the Hall Building, or at smaller cafés in the CJ, AD, SP and Hingston buildings at Loyola, which offer sandwiches, salads, soups, pizzas, and coffee. There’s a Tim Hortons in the SP Building in addition to these cafés.

Restaurant Nilufar

If you’ve got some time to spare, head one block out of the SGW campus and check out Nilufar’s Falafel-it-forward initiative. Located on 1923 Ste. Catherine St., Nilufar is known for its affordable yet filling vegetarian pitas. With this program in place, you can grab yourself a $3 sandwich all while purchasing one for someone in need.

Concordia’s Farmers’ Market and the Concordia Food Coalition

Be on the lookout for posters announcing the return of the Concordia Farmers’ Market, typically hosted one Wednesday of every month during the school year in the EV Building downtown. You can also reach out to the Concordia Food Coalition on Facebook to know what they’re up to. 

The Concordia Food Coalition is “working hard to determine what our community really needs, as we move into the post-pandemic world,” said CFC finance coordinator Shylah Wolfe. “From community meal-making, to pop-up farmers markets, to conferences, to customized training, the CFC looks forward to once again offering support and a strong voice for students and food groups on campus.”

So, if you have some free time, why not check out one of these options next time you’re on  campus? Whatever you choose from this list is bound to not only satisfy your cravings and delight your tummies; it will spare your wallets too. Bon appétit!