Kevin's Corner: Honouring the Man Who Fought Food Insecurity on Campus

Published on : 12/15/22
  • There is this place at St. Francis Xavier University (StFX) that has become a vital part of the campus community. 

    The Kevin’s Corner Food Resource Center is a free, confidential, and accessible service providing support to students who need nutritious snacks and meal options. It is a student food bank, but its purpose is also to engage in discussions surrounding food poverty on Canadian university campuses and initiate action to eradicate it.

    Kevin’s Corner is a safe space for students facing food insecurity on campus. It is also a space honouring the late Kevin Fraser, a Sodexo employee who impacted the lives of many students in his 15 years working at StFX.

    A long-time general manager of food services at StFX University, Kevin was widely known around the campus and community to find ways — at times, quite creative — to support students who experienced food insecurity while in school. He was beloved on campus, offering a warm welcome to students at mealtime and ensuring that all students’ needs were accommodated.

    “It was after he passed away that we learned some of the things that he had done behind the scenes to help students who were down on their luck,” says long-time collaborator and friend Bob Hale, Director of ancillary services at StFX. “He did it all behind the scenes, without wanting any recognition. That’s not what he was about.”

    On November 3, 2018, to celebrate his contributions, Kevin’s wife was presented an honorary X-ring on his behalf. X-rings are given annually to members of the StFX community who epitomizes Xaverian values.

    “Kevin was a true Xaverian. He always went above and beyond to help the university and more importantly, the students,” said Bob Hale at the event.

    Bob Hale, Director of ancillary services at StFX University says:

    It’s our way of honouring him. Not a day goes by that we don’t think of him.

    The Kevin’s Corner Food Resource Center was also launched at this event.

    What is Kevin’s Corner?

    After Kevin’s untimely passing in 2018, a fund was put together in his honour to continue finding ways to support students. Kevin’s Corner started with a project to supply snacks and refreshments, distributed during exams and to study spaces. Eventually, a dedicated space was created for community access. 

    Then the program grew. When the Student Union renovated its food resource center, they decided to incorporate it all into Kevin's Corner.

    “It's one of those things that people now know about,” says Bob Hale. “Students who have gone through here are so eager to give back because it’s such a great cause. And it's something that Kevin would be so proud of.”

    Kevin’s Corner also has a student garden program which Sodexo Canada is also supporting. In the winter semester, we match in food weight the amount grown during the summer and fall semesters. We often match with items that are not available, such as fruits and vegetables, but also meats and other proteins, as well as homemade canned goods and preserves.

    “It’s about giving back to the students. We’re trying to make education available to as many students as possible and of course, we all know food is such a big part of it,” says Hale. “We are excited to have a partner [in Sodexo] who sees the same thing we do.”

    More Than a Food Resource Center

    Kevin’s Corner also takes part in fundraising day at StFX. Every year, Giving Tuesday is an opportunity for the StFX community to help support food security on campus, with donations going directly to the food resource center. 

    In November 2022, the Stuff the Bus drive received over $17,500 and 1,500 pounds of non-perishable items to help ensure those in need have access to healthy food. The Xaverian Express received donations supporting Kevin’s Corner and the Antigonish Community Food Bank. 

    Sodexo employees donated $1,215 through the Stop Hunger Foundation, which Sodexo Canada matched.

    In February 2020, Sodexo established the Kevin Memorial Bursary in memory of the late Kevin Fraser. Five bursaries of $1,000 each will be awarded each year to students from Nova Scotia enrolled in the Human Nutrition Department.