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#GryphonGifts delivers free food to students as an exam-time stress buster

Students can place orders on the U of G Alumni Instagram page and get food and drinks delivered to their exact location on campus

Faculty and staff at the University of Guelph were putting smiles on the faces of exam-stressed students Friday.

The volunteers were delivering free food and drinks to students across campus as part of a program to help relieve some of that stress.

Whether students were in the library or in the University Centre, the #GryphonGifts initiative allowed students to order any food they wanted on campus by messaging the U of G Alumni page on Instagram to tell them where they were and what they wanted.

The free initiative is a collaboration of the U of G Alumni Affairs and Development, the Gryphons Care program, and the Interhall Council.

“It is specifically for a study break or that kind of thing. Just something to be like 'we know you're stressed, we know this is hard, can we make you a little happier?'” said Katrina Bell, a member of Alumni Affairs and Development.

“They seem very happy and surprised, like I can't believe I got picked and you went and got me what I wanted and brought it to me on campus." 

Students ordered a variety of things including Starbucks coffees, Subway subs, timbits. Their order included a brief description of how to identify them when the food was delivered.

“The first few deliveries were hilarious because the students were surprised we actually showed up,” said professor Daniel Gillis who helped deliver orders.

Gillis said the description of the locations were the most entertaining, where students described themselves as "sitting next to a tree" or "take two lefts from the elevator."

Gillis is one of the members of Gryphons Care, an initiative that sees participating staff and faculty donate 26 payments of $25 a year to fund special projects on campus that help improve student life.

“We just want the students, staff and faculty to get involved and do something fun,” said Gillis.

Bell was inspired by the McMaster University program where students did something similar.

“I remember being jealous cause I was like I wish I had that when I was a student,” said Bell.

Alumni Affairs and Development was then able to pitch the idea to the Gryphons Care and everyone was on board to put some smiles on students across campus.

“I just love seeing the students. You can see them when they maybe catch your eye and you're walking up to them,” said Bell.

“We heard some people yesterday saying I can't believe this is real.”

With the #GryphonGifts, students can order anything sold on campus for the two remaining days of the program this semester: April 16 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and April 17 from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m on the U of G alumni  Instagram page.