Food insecurity—as defined by The Government of Canada—is the inability to acquire or consume an adequate diet quality or sufficient quantity of food in socially acceptable ways, or the uncertainty that one will be able to do so. According to Food Hub UBC, research across time consistently shows that 30-40% of students are food insecure. With significant impacts on mental, physical, and social well-being, food insecurity is “highest among international students, transgender/non-binary students, and BIPOC students”. This article looks into the work and life of Beedie Luminary, Matthew Li, who is passionate to fight against inequities in his community.
A STUDENT-LED FORCE: WHO ARE THE GOGIVERS?
Let’s start with the five W’s: who, what, when, where, and why?
The GoGivers Foundation launched in December of 2020 amidst the beginnings of the COVID-19 Pandemic, in which many communities found difficulty in accessibility to food and shelter. With a passion to help underserved communities, GoGivers wanted alleviate some of these struggles that weighed many down
Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, the GoGivers team is filled with bright students attending secondary and post-secondary institutions across the lower mainland. In the last two years, GoGivers has raised over $15,000 through various donation campaigns and given out more than 2,000 care packages.
GoGivers distributes monthly care packages containing essential items along with positive messages written by people from around the world. Since their humble beginnings, GoGivers has partnered with organizations such as the Covenant House, Chinatown Storytelling Centre, and, the underserved houseless communities in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Additionally, amidst the Afghanistan crisis last year, GoGivers donated over $2000 to ISSofBC.
HOW DID BEEDIE LUMINARY MATTHEW GET INVOLVED?
First year is busy, but that hasn’t stopped Matthew from fighting for his passions.
As a first year student at the University of British Columbia and one of three Board of Directors on the GoGivers team, Matthew organized the very first GoEducate Seminar held on UBC’s Point Grey Campus. In December of 2022, the student-led event held by GoGivers and UBC Sprouts focused on food insecurity in the lower mainland, food sovereignty, and why student action is integral in fighting systemic inequalities.
We asked Matthew to reflect on his learnings from organizing this event. Read what he had to say:
“To say the least, planning this event had its obstacles and challenges, and at the time I thought I would have never been able to pull this off. The idea of bringing high school students to a seminar on food insecurity all the way to UBC made me nervous. However through passing each obstacle, these worries diminished and by the day of the event, I was humbled to see so many youth leaders from all over the lower mainland come to hear about the systemic issue of food insecurity.”
“This event has allowed me to learn vast new knowledge not only about food insecurity, but understanding what it takes to run a successful event. Through this event I learned more than I ever could from reading a book or googling a WikiHow. It taught me how to push myself outside my comfort zone and furthermore allowed me to develop my skills of organization outside the sheltered environment of my old secondary school. The hands on knowledge I gained has been so valuable and I can’t wait to learn more in the future from these leaders and my mentors.”
Meet more Beedie Luminaries like Matthew here. #BeedieBright!Back To Top