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Recipes for an Empty Wallet aims to help students and food bank patrons


Enactus SLC has developed Recipes for an Empty Wallet cookbooks and videos in an effort to help students and food bank patrons manage their food budgets and food assortment, enabling them to cook healthy, delicious meals.

Recipes for an Empty Wallet evolved as part of the Enactus SLC (formerly SIFE SLC) team’s Foot Cents program, established in 2010 amidst public outcry regarding Ontario Student Assistance Program’s (OSAP) suggested food budget of $7.50 per day for students. The Enactus SLC team realized that two systemic issues made a $7.50 per day food budget seem unaffordable for many students. The first was that many individuals simply don’t know how to cook. The second was that some individuals lack financial literacy skills. Without these key skills, students had a tendency to replace food preparation with unhealthy processed fast food because it was convenient and inexpensive.

Enactus SLC has developed two versions of the Recipes for an Empty Wallet cookbook and numerous videos as an evolution of their work with Sandy Singers and the Partners in Mission Food Bank in Kingston and the Food Cents SLC Workshop, developed with St. Lawrence College Executive Chef Professor Thomas Elia.

Conscious that their target audience may not have access to the Internet or a printer, Enactus SLC has printed and distributed copies of the Recipes for an Empty Wallet cookbooks to OSAP offices, post-secondary school food banks, and to be included in food bank hampers.

The student cookbook is available in both French and English and both books have been designated as highly accessible by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). 

The cookbooks can be downloaded and the videos can be viewed at