The Vanier College Students’ Association is pleased to announce it is using the introduction of its new student co-op café to help students in need. A total of 37 students have received $100 credits that can be used towards purchasing food at Jake’s café, a new-co-op venture that opened at Vanier last August.

“This is one way for the Vanier College Students Association to give back to the community and more importantly to help individuals who are experiencing some financial difficulty. It’s a show of solidarity and helps guarantee that these individuals can enjoy free healthy meals several times a week during the course of the semester,” said Andrew Liberio, Vice-President of the students association.

For each $100 food credit, the V.C.S.A. paid $80 while the remaining $20 was funded by the co-op. Students can redeem their credits anonymously as they can pay at the café using their student identification cards.

“When we launched the co-op last summer I was convinced this would be a project that would bring a lot to the Vanier community and to students. Contributing to this cause allows the co-op to show its solidarity with the student association and with students in general,” said Gabriel Guinez Richer, manager of Jake’s Café.

In addition to offering the food program the V.C.S.A. also offers free breakfasts to students twice a month.

“This is a great initiative and also helps sensitize our students to certain issues that exist in our society. It’s a very pro-active gesture by the V.C.S.A. There are a lot of students at Vanier and in other colleges who go back to school or decide to go to college to break the cycle of poverty that exists in their families. They want to make a better life for themselves and their family members. This food program will contribute to helping those in need,” said Jim Atkinson, Socio-Economic Officer at Vanier College.

As well as offering free meals to students in need the new co-op also offers employment opportunities.

“Having students working at Jakes is another positive spin-off as it allows them to make some extra money and get some amazing job experience right here on campus,” Said Andrew Liberio.

Jake’s café opened at Vanier College on August 27th thanks in part to the Borough of Saint-Laurent, via its Local Development Centre, which contributed $30,000. The 2014-2015 VCSA Council contributed $50,000 to support and help start the project. The café is the first co-op organization in an English Cegep.

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