Unified Support Centre (USC)

Food Centre Services

Food-related support and programming are provided to undergraduate students to help alleviate and address food insecurity at Carleton University.

Are you an undergraduate student experiencing food insecurity? The USC provides hampers of food and essentials to students in need.

To request a hamper, students must complete the electronic Hamper Request Form. Students requesting a hamper for the first time must also complete the electronic Food Bank Intake Form (as this information is required by the Ottawa Food Bank) and an Undergraduate Verification Form (required once per Academic year). The USC suggests submitting your request between 36 and 72 hours before the desired pickup or delivery time to ensure an up-to-date item selection.

Students are limited to two hampers per month under the Emergency Essentials Assistance Program’s standard support. If that is insufficient to meet your basic needs, please complete the Enhanced Assistance Request Form anytime after receiving your second hamper from the USC in the last 60 days.

The Unified Support Centre has become aware that individuals with no affiliation to Carleton University (including OttawaU students) are misrepresenting themselves to use our Emergency Essentials Assistance Program. While we strive to support everyone we can, we just don’t have the resources to help everyone in Ottawa. This service is funded through the Carleton University Students’ Association for undergraduate students and is therefore only available to the Carleton University undergraduate community.

Hamper Pickups

If you can pick up your hamper, please do so! It helps reduce our volunteer drivers’ workload. Students living within a 30 minute walking distance of campus are expected to retrieve their food hamper from the USC unless they are actively quarantining or require accessibility-related accommodations. If you would like to borrow a collapsible cart to transport your hamper’s contents, please let us know when you retrieve your hamper!

Hampers of food and essentials must be requested at least 24 hours prior to pick up through the Hamper Request Form. Students can retrieve their hampers from 314 Nideyinàn (formerly known as University Centre) anytime between 6:00 PM – 2:00 AM, 7 days a week. 

Important Update: Please note that we have changed our pick-up requirements as of April 28th, 2023. You will now be required to show us your Carleton University Student ID card (campus card) with a valid expiration date before retrieving your hamper. This will ensure that our services are solely being accessed by Carleton University students.

An expired campus card, UPass, or any other form of ID will not be accepted. Failure to provide us with a valid campus card may result in the refusal of your hamper.

Hamper Deliveries (Service Suspended)

Due to a shortage of volunteer drivers, our hamper delivery service has been suspended for the foreseeable future. All students requesting our services are required to pick up their Hampers of food and essentials from 314 Nideyinàn (formerly known as University Centre) anytime between 6:00 PM – 2:00 AM, 7 days a week.

The USC Food Centre holds food drives and other food-related initiatives and events to support its Emergency Essentials Assistance Program, offers food-related educational programming such as food preparation events, and increases awareness of the presence of food insecurity and poverty in our community.

Foot Patrol Services

Evening and safety-related support to ensure that all students feel comfortable on and off campus.

Want some company or feeling unsafe heading home in the evenings? Call (613) 520-4066 or drop by our office to request a safe walk and two of our volunteers will be happy to walk with you anywhere on campus and up to 1 hour off campus. We can also accompany you on OC Transpo buses and light rail. The safe walk service is available during our operational hours from 6:00 PM – 2:00 AM, 7 days a week.

If you’re uncomfortable with being accompanied by two USC Foot Patrol volunteers in uniform, we can still help. Just ask us for a plainclothes safe walk and we’ll remove our vests and utility pack.

Prefer not to walk with two volunteers? Off-campus in a sketchy neighbourhood? The Walk and Talk line offers an alternative to the USC’s safe walk service by giving you the option to chat with a USC volunteer over the phone until you reach your destination. Give us a call at (613) 520-4449 from 6:00 PM – 2:00 AM, 7 days a week!

Organizing an event, a trip, or a personal outing? Don’t have a first aid kit to bring with you? The USC offers first aid kits to any Carleton University student or group that wants to borrow one for up to a month at a time.

Choose between the small, car, standard, daypack, compact, and survival backpack kits, each with a different inventory and size to match your needs, by viewing the Borrow a First Aid Kit Inventory List. To sign out a kit, please complete the Borrow a First Aid Kit Request Form or drop by the USC office at 314 Nideyinàn (formerly known as University Centre) during our operational hours!

The service is free, though we do require a $10 or $20 deposit depending on the kit you choose (this can be waived in exceptional circumstances). The deposit is returned whether first aid supplies are used or not, all we ask is that you return the kit itself and any multi-use kit supplies in the same condition that you acquired it on or before the agreed upon return date!

The USC Foot Patrol’s Guardian Program can attend larger (usually off-campus) events to provide support and direction to attendees, help ensure all individuals return home safely event, and offer planning, organizational, and safety related advice to event organizers if desired (we’ve been to a lot of events, we can advise on what works/doesn’t).

Guardian Program team members are selected from USC volunteers who have shown the greatest degree of commitment, responsibility, and ability to remain focused in stressful situations. Guardian teams can be requested to wear professional or casual dress and all Guardian Program volunteers are Standard First Aid and CPR/AED C trained. Please note that Foot Patrol Guardian teams are not to be used to replace security or a dedicated medical first responder team and will not physically intervene in confrontational situations.

A Guardian Program event team can be booked without charge by organizers of any event involving Carleton University students (it does not need to be an official event occurring through Carleton University). The event does not need to occur during our operational hours. We request that organizers contact us a week in advance to book an event team. We will do our best to accommodate requests on shorter notice but cannot guarantee our attendance.

Please note that regular USC Foot Patrol teams can also be booked to attend or drop by smaller (usually on-campus) events to offer safe walks and/or information on the USC, as requested by event organizers.

Additional Services and Initiatives

The USC offers a variety of additional initiatives to support the well-being of the Carleton community.

The USC operates two locked, self-serve phone charging stations located at the fourth floor University Centre and at Tory Tunnel Junction. Contact us at 613-520-4066, usc@cusaonline.ca, or by dropping by our office in University Centre 314 if you experience any issues with either device!

Please note that the Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA), the Unified Support Centre (USC), and Carleton University are not liable for any lost, damaged, or inoperable devices resulting from use of the CBL-008W phone chargers.

The USC audits and restocks all CUSA first aid kits on a bi-annual basis, ensuring all CUSA service centres, offices, and businesses have a stocked and accessible first aid kit. Please contact us at usc@cusaonline.ca if a CUSA first aid kit does not contain an item listed on the kit inventory list located on the inside of the lid.

ASIST is a comprehensive, two day course consisting of audiovisuals, discussions, and simulations designed to teach you how to help someone with thoughts or plans of suicide. You will learn how to recognize signs of suicide, provide a skilled intervention, and develop a safety plan to help someone choose to stay alive. The ASIST framework, and its instructors, are regulated by LivingWorks.

Members of the Carleton community can register for an upcoming course by completing the ASIST Registration Form! Please email the USC team at usc@cusaonline.ca with any inquiries.

USC Foot Patrol teams patrol campus in the evenings. Don’t hesitate to say hi or request a safe walk!

The USC completes semesterly safety surveys of the interior and exterior of Carleton University, reporting hazards and other safety issues to Carleton University’s Joint Health and Safety Committee, Facilities Management and Planning, and Campus Safety Services through a comprehensive, itemized list.

Please note that Carleton University’s Joint Health and Safety Committee is primarily responsible for ensuring the safety of Carleton University’s campus. The USC conducts our semesterly safety surveys to provide a student-oriented perspective of campus conditions, using our volunteer base to identify and raise awareness of a variety of potential hazards. We encourage any member of the Carleton University community to submit on-campus health and safety concerns to Carleton University’s CU Worksafe Guest Portal’s Good Catch Report.

The USC distributes a variety of visibility, safety, and school related supplies and informational materials with the support of our partners at DrinkSmart and Safer Roads Ottawa. Interested in a mini-first aid kit, snap on visibility bracelets, or some extra highlighters? Drop by our office during our operational hours! Please note that available items may change over time.

Join Us!

All of the USC’s services are made possible by a dedicated team of In-Office and Volunteer Driver volunteers. Fill out the USC Volunteer Interest Form, email us at usc@cusaonline.ca, or drop by our office in University Centre 314 during our operational hours to get involved!

The application process involves obtaining a Vulnerable Sector (Level 3) record check, signing a USC In-Office Volunteer Contract, and completing a half-day training session. The USC staff will help you through each step of the process – please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!

Volunteer shifts occur from 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM (on weekdays), 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM (7 days a week), and 10:00 PM – 2:00 AM (7 days a week) during the academic year. During the summer semesters, volunteer shifts occur from 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM and 8:00 PM – 12:00 midnight, 7 days a week. Volunteers are expected to commit to one recurring four hour shift a week of their choice and are welcome to help out more!

USC Volunteers are offered discounted or free training courses (depending on the course), the opportunity to win monthly prizes, and volunteer appreciation events. Sign up today and meet an amazing team of fellow students!

Have a driver’s license, access to a car, and a willingness to help deliver hampers of food and essentials to students in need? Reach out to us to join our Volunteer Driver team today!

Volunteer Driver applicants are asked to obtain a Vulnerable Sector (Level 3) record check, sign a USC Volunteer Driver Contract, and complete a 45 minute training session prior to joining the team.

Volunteer Driver shifts generally occur on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. Volunteer drivers are required to complete a minimum of two shifts per month and must schedule their shifts prior to the beginning of the month.

In addition to being offered discounted or free training courses (depending on the course), the opportunity to win monthly prizes, and volunteer appreciation events, volunteer drivers are reimbursed for their gas expenses and receive a $150 honorarium upon completing eight delivery routes at the end of a four-month semester.

Meet our Team

Please contact Ellie Sheppard for donations and sponsorship inquires.

Ellie Sheppard

Charitable Initiatives Manager

Neeharika “Neeni” Saha

USC Services Fulfillment & Development Supervisor

Damilola "Dami" Olabisi

Volunteer Coordinator

Neeyati “Nads” Sharma

Operations Coordinator

Support Us

The USC is in constant need of food and monetary donations to maintain and expand operational capacity. Every contribution helps us support the Carleton community!

The USC distributes both non-perishable and perishable food, personal hygiene items, feminine hygiene products, and safer sex supplies to students in need.

Donations are always welcome and can be dropped off at the USC office (314 University Centre) at any point during our operational hours from 2:00 PM – 2:00 AM on weekdays and 6:00 PM – 2:00 AM on weekends. For large donations that are only available for pick-up, please contact usc@cusaonline.ca.

The USC is constantly in need of the following non-perishable items:

  • Canned Soups (non-vegetarian & vegetarian)
  • Broth (non-vegetarian & vegetarian)
  • Canned Beans (both baked beans and unseasoned)
  • Canned Chilli
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Dry Lentils or Beans
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Shampoo
  • Floss
  • Pads

Please note that we’re unable to accept the following items due to food safety concerns and allergy risks:

  • Chilled items that have been stored at room temperature
  • Expired perishable food and essentials
  • Expired non-perishable items that are more than one (1) month past their date of expiration
  • Unsealed or partially used donations (i.e. an open box of rice or a punctured bag of pasta)
  • Unsealed perishable donations (i.e. a takeout contained from a restaurant)

Monetary support helps the USC offer, upgrade, and develop the diverse set of services that our team offers 7 days a week!

The USC has partnered with Carleton University’s Department of University Advancement to hold an Emergency Essentials Assistance Program Support Fund FutureFunder crowdfunding campaign for donors interested in supporting the USC’s efforts to minimize food insecurity on campus. Donations made through the FutureFunder portal are eligible for a charitable tax receipts.

Donors that wish to support another USC service or who do not wish to use FutureFunder may provide the funds directly, though the USC is unable to provide a charitable tax receipt at this time (a standard receipt is provided upon request). To make a direct donation to the USC, please reach out directly to Ellie Sheppard, Charitable Initiatives Manager.

Donors seeking to pioneer or support the development of specific initiatives are asked to contact the USC staff team at usc@cusaonline.ca to discuss their options!

Other Safety, Crisis, and Support Resources

Campus Safety Services:

  • 24-Hour Emergency line: 613-520-4444 (4444 from any campus phone)
  • 24-Hour Non-Emergency line: 613-520-3612 (3612 from any campus phone)
  • carleton.ca/safety

Ottawa Police Service

  • Emergency: 911
  • Non-Emergency: 613 236-1222
  • Victim Crisis Unit: 613-236-1222 ext.5822
  • www.ottawapolice.ca

Ottawa Food Bank Assistance

The USC’s Crisis and Support Resources Guide offers a convenient list of both on and off-campus resources available to Carleton students and the greater Ottawa community.

Resources are divided by category, and each resource’s hours and contact information have been previously verified. Please note that resources were verified by Foot Patrol pre-COVID-19, therefore this information may not be currently accurate.

For questions, comments, concerns, or to suggest a resource for a future version of this guide, please contact usc@cusaonline.ca or leave anonymous feedback through our Resource Guide Suggestion Form.

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