man wearing a glove stacking food into a box

Feed the students!

Food is essential to fuel your body and mind. Have you ever tried to focus on a lecture with a growling stomach? This year, we, your Advocacy and Welfare team have set a challenge and boy have we accepted it! The challenge… to #FeedTheStudents. Whats the reason for this you ask?  Well, we know that student life can get pretty hectic at times, and so being able to provide you guys with free hot meals on a regular basis can make all the difference.

We sat down with UNE Life Welfare, Advocacy and Student Programs Manager, James Hudson to get the inside scoop on what free eats you can get your mouth around!

What free food options do Advocacy and Welfare provide students?

  • There are four regular occurring events we run where we offer students food support. Every Wednesday night from 5-6pm we have Welfare Wednesday! This event is for all students to attend, where you can pop by The ‘Stro between 5 and 6 pm and grab a hot meal, whether it be a soup, curry, or stew. You’re welcome to dine in or take-away.
  • Another event that is open to all students is our fortnightly free BBQ series. This event is held in the northern courtyard outside the Tune!FM offices. The BBQ will run from 11.30 am until 12.30 pm, where students can come by and grab a sausage sandwich or veggie pattie.
  • We will also be operating our Meal Kits once a trimester. This was a huge success when we operated it last year and are looking forward to doing it again this trimester! Essentially, we will be giving away 200 meal kits each kit supplying ingredients for three meals enough to feed two people or six meals for one person. Keep an eye out on our social pages for when that event will run!
  • Finally, we have our Food Pantry, which is open every day to any course-work student suffering financial hardship, where they can grab free grocery staples. Come by and meet one of our friendly team members and let us know if you need some help with food!This service extends to our online students in the form of Woolworths / Coles vouchers of equivalent value to our Pantry bags available to any online UNE student who is doing it tough.

Why is it important to supply students with free food options?

Being a full-time student incorporates a serious commitment to your study. It is a time of sacrifice; many students forsake earning an income to gain an education. At Advocacy and Welfare, we feel it is a duty to support these students during their studies in any way we can.

What reasons might a student experience food insecurity?

Increases in living expenses, like rent and electricity costs, can make it hard for students to find the extra cash to spend on food and leisure activities. We believe that by supplying food to students gives them the opportunity to make their studies a priority.

How are you able to supply these food options?

We are fully funded by the Student Services Amenity Fee (SSAF) so that students have access to quality meals. Commonwealth SSAF guidelines stipulate that revenue for the Student Services and Amenities Fee may only be spent on certain types of services or activities. These allowable expenditure items fall into 19 categories. No. 1 on the list is ‘Providing food or drink to students on a campus of the higher education provider’ and you can definitely say we take that point seriously!

How can students get involved?

Be sure to follow our socials for all our free food events and dates, rock up every Wednesday evening at the ‘Stro, look out for our BBQ in the courtyard, and absolutely knock on our door or throw us an email to access the food pantry/ vouchers! I also want to say to students to not be shy! Part of being a student is often trying to find the best hand-outs. Go and make the most of our SSAF!

I also want to say to students to not be shy! Part of being a student is often trying to find the best hand-outs. Go and make the most of our SSAF!

For all of the students that aren’t on campus – #WatchThisSpace… We’re hitting the road in April this year, and we want to see you!

Thanks for your time and knowledge James, its been a pleasure chatting!

Be sure to follow Advocacy and Welfare and UNE Life on social media, to keep up to date with our free food events and other students activations!

You can also pop by Advocacy and Welfare’s office, located across from UNE Life HQ at the Northern Ring Road, or call us (02) 6773 3116