Left to right: Callum Brown - Graduate and Reuse Intern 2010, Nicola Baker - Contracts & Private Sector Accommodation Manager, Pete Scott - Exeter Food Bank. Photograph by Ollie Mulcock

Exeter students donate to Food Bank

The University of Exeter is hoping its students will make record-breaking donations to Exeter Food Bank this summer.

University staff hope that this year’s collection of unused tins and packets of food from students leaving campus accommodation will be even bigger than last year’s donation.

As part of the University’s Students on the Move campaign, door-to-door collections were made, and Student Reuse Project collection points were set up across the University. When students leave the University campus for their summer holidays, they often have unopened tins and packets of food. The University aims to make it as easy as possible for students to donate these items to Food Bank, rather than throw them away.

Exeter Food Bank is a local project that makes a real difference to those in need in the local community. The food is used to help people who find themselves in a crisis, often because of benefit delays, unexpectedly large bills or losing a job. Local professionals from care agencies, the Health Service, Citizens Advice Bureau and Social Services are issued with food vouchers. They give these vouchers to families and individuals in need, helping them to get food quickly and efficiently.

James Matthews, University of Exeter Student Reuse Project Intern commented: “Congratulations should go to the students, who embraced this scheme wholeheartedly. It is fantastic to see our students engage with a charity that does so much to help local people.”

Nicola Baker, Contracts and Private Sector Accommodation Manager, added: “We are absolutely thrilled with the amount we are managing to collect. It just goes to prove that this is something that any business in the area could easily do to help local people in distress.”

Pete Scott from the Exeter Food Bank team said: “Exeter Food Bank has been providing food for people in crisis in Exeter for over two-and-a-half years and we are so grateful to the students of Exeter University who support us in this work. Every tin of food donated is very much appreciated. We have fed, on average, 176 people a month over the last year and they are all people who, without this provision, would have had nothing to eat. Working people, the unemployed, people who are unwell, students, individuals and families receive help from the Food Bank and without the generous support of the people of Exeter, including the University, we wouldn't be able to continue – so thank you!”

The University of Exeter Student Reuse Project aims to make as much use as possible from unwanted items at the end of each academic year. Students leaving campus accommodation are also asked to donate any unwanted items of clothing and kitchenware. Last year approximately four tonnes of items were donated. Student volunteers sort the items for local charity shops, including Devon Air Ambulance, Children’s Hospice South West, Exeter Leukaemia Fund and Mind, to collect. Items not required by the charities, are then made available for new students arriving in September, many of whom are living away from home for the first time.

Date: 8 August 2011

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