Coast Mountain College international students can now apply for a $100 grocery store gift card to ease some of the financial burden caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The cards are made possible by a $10,000 donation by the Coast Mountain Students’ Union.
“This relief fund is for international students as there are very little relief benefits for them,” said Christopher Blois, chair of the Coast Mountain Students’ Union in a media release.
Domestic students are eligible to receive the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit, but students from abroad are not included in that program. To help, the federal government has lifted the 20 work hours per week cap for them provided that they have a valid study permit for the summer semester, eligibility to work off campus and are providing an essential service.
Last month, the college provided 160 grocery store gift cards valued at $250 for students in financial need. Members of the community and college employees provided $20,000 to purchase the cards. The CMTN (Coast Mountain) Foundation also committed $20,000.
The new grocery cards are intended for students who did not receive a card last month or other kinds of emergency relief from Coast Mountain College.
The CMTN Foundation is planning to have fundraising events in the future. Those will depend on students’ needs and will comply with provincial COVID-19 restrictions. The foundation was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization to raise funds to support students.
Students are encouraged to contact aconway@coastmountaincollege to apply for a grocery card. More information is available on the school’s dedicated COVID-19 page at coastmountaincollege.ca/covid19.