Student Food Network


Student Food Network

Partnering with food establishments to provide $5 student meals.




Centre for Dialogue


SFU Semester at CityStudio


  • Janet Moore
  • Adrian Sinclair
  • Holly Schmidt

City of Vancouver:

  • Cory Dobson | Planner

Student Team:

  • Kaylee Royce
  • Sydney Brown
  • Renee McMillen
  • Meadhbh Grant


  • Engaged City Task Force

City goal area:

  • Building Knowledge


Student Food Network addresses the problem of food affordability for students in Vancouver. With the rise of tuition and living costs, students have become busier and often do not have the time to prepare meals at home. For convenience, students are increasingly purchasing food while out, yet the cost of meals at restaurants and other food establishments are not suitable for a student budget.

Our project has attempted to remedy this problem by connecting students with affordable meal options near major transportation lines and post-secondary institutions. To prototype our project, we spoke to twenty food establishments between Gastown and the Downtown Core, and nine said they would be interested in this program. We have learned that food establishments are interested and willing to participate in this program in the future, but there are identifiable difficulties in modifying the pricing of food.

Student Food Network is mapping out a growing list of restaurants that are willing to offer $5 student meals. When food establishments participate in this program, we offer them exposure to a student market, an identifiable decal, and inclusion into our student food network map. From our research, we have identified that a $5 price point is possible for the restaurant industry to provide using ingredients they already have on site.

Download the information package.

Student Food Network
Student Food Network

Next Steps

Embark will be stewarding the Student Food Network. They have agreed to give space on their website to house our digital map and to continue working with food establishments in the future. We hope that the Student Food Network becomes an extensive network that allows students to choose from a variety of $5 meals. This work will shine light on the underrepresentation of student affordability in current city food strategies and that this demographic is a valuable market opportunity. In the future, we hope that municipal policy decisions incorporate the perspective of students.

Student Food Network won third place at HUBBUB #11 on November 30, 2018.