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July 14, 2008 | by  | in News |
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Students going hungry in cold winter

VUWSA’s food bank has seen an increase in students using the service in recent weeks, with Welfare Vice-President Melissa Barnard describing the statistics as a “concern for students, the University and the government.”

The number of food parcels that had been collected at the end of May was close to the total number of parcels that had been collected in 2007. At the end of May, 203 food parcels had been collected, in comparison to a total of 263 for 2007.

“Someone needs to be looking at these figures and question why the steady increase over the last six months, and try to come up with some solutions,” Barnard said.

The food bank has a $15,000 budget, funded by Student Hardship and VUWSA. The average food parcel contains $30 to $40 worth of products and includes basic items such as pasta, canned food and cereal, in addition to hygiene items such as deodorant, toilet paper and toothpaste.

According to Barnard, the food bank has three peak times of the year where they see more students coming to collect parcels – orientation week, re-orientation and during winter. The rises are most commonly attributed to missed Studylink payments, as well as large power bills and students moving into new flats.

Students can collect a food parcel from the ground floor of the Student Union Building at Kelburn between 12p.m. to 2.p.m., or at Pipitea office GO8 OCB, or Karori’s VUWSA office from 9.a.m. to 2 p.m. Free bread is available on Wednesdays from 9.a.m. from VUWSA in the Student Union Building.

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  1. I’m hungry, I think Melissa should buy me a pie!

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