Stratford Resource Bins Founder Wins Arts Award for Excellence in Service

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Kiera McMaster, a recent graduate of the Global Business and Digital Arts program, is a recipient of this year's Arts Award for Excellence in Service. She’s been highly acknowledged and rewarded for her innovative, dedication and execution to the Resource Bins at University of Waterloo’s satellite campus in Stratford.

McMaster is passionate about supporting community development, representing inclusion and promoting equality on campus and in the city of Stratford. “Students in Waterloo have easy access to the WUSA food bank, but in Stratford, we were missing an equivalent” says McMaster, when asked what her initiatives were to start the program. Resource bins with food and toiletriesThe Stratford Resource Bins are located around campus to provide students with essential items that may be required but could not be affordable such as dry food items and toiletries. The main pillar is ‘take what you need, leave what you can’ and focuses on increasing education, working with the community, and growing sustainably. Last year, Stratford Resource Bins were able to partner with the Stratford Chef School using the grant funding received from the #RisingYouth grant program. 

There are many ways to help support the Stratford Resource bins. Making donations as little as an extra can of soup in your pantry or unopened menstrual products are greatly appreciated and go a long way to keeping the program running. Purchases are made with the funds raised through advertised donation drives and items left at the end of the year are donated to the local community of Stratford. Also, there is an anonymous Google Form that helps serve students better by identifying what stock is needed. Students interested in helping organize and be a part of this team can apply online. McMaster states “look out for each other and get involved in things that matter to you. The campus and our programs are still relatively young, and we’re still creating our identity. What do you want to see from the campus, and how can you make it happen?” 

The Arts Awards recognize and celebrate the contributions made by faculty, staff and students in the Faculty of Arts with a custom-made glass structure at the Annual Celebration of Arts reception. McMaster was nominated by the Stratford School for this high-impact project and exceptional level of commitment that not only benefits the success of the Faculty of Arts but also the broader University community.

For more information about the Stratford Resource Bins, check out @strat_resource_bins on Instagram and Stratford Resource Bins on Facebook. 

Read the accompanying Arts Award winner profiles article about Kiera.


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