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March 5, 2007 | by  | in Opinion |
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Kia ora. This week’s topic is food, and in particular, Special Need Food Grants (SNG’s). So, the cupboards are empty? You have nothing left to eat after having visited all of your friends and family for meals, and even consumed that tin of peas that has been sitting in the back of the cupboard?

Well, Studylink can help! Michael from Studylink tells me that all you need is: proof of a nil bank balance (so make sure you pay those essential bills first), and that the lack of resources was caused by an essential expense.

Clause 11 of the SNG rule states that the client (or the client’s immediate family, if any) must have an immediate need to purchase food; that they have no resources to meet that need, and would otherwise have to rely on a food bank.

Furthermore, the need for food (or lack of resources to meet that need) must have been caused by an essential expense that had to be met and which left insufficient money to buy food. The legislation states that: a single person with no dependent children may receive $200 and a couple who are married or in a civil union with no children may receive $300. Those with children have higher limits over a 52 week period.

The Studylink Manager says that each case is decided on its own merit and is dependent on the individual circumstances. So, it appears to be a case of ‘don’t ask and you won’t get’ – and if you are able to prove the extent of your hardship, you should receive help from Studylink.

VUWSA has a foodbank, although students are allowed no more than 3 food parcels a year. VUWSA also delivers free bread every Wednesday; the doors open at 9am and the bread goes fast due to huge demand!

Next week – The Disability Benefit, and what is it for?

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