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OUSA forced to open food bank

16 February 2000


For Immediate Release

OUSA forced to open food bank

Otago University Students' Association (OUSA) announced today that it would be opening a food bank in the wake of mismanagement of student loans by Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ).

"We are preparing for an influx of students. People who thought their loan arrangements with WINZ were under control will be turning up here with no money to sign up flats, connect the phone or even pay for food," said Rachel Carrell, Education and Welfare Vice-President.

"We are trying to pre-empt problems by acting before enrolment at Otago begins. Enrolment has started at the University of Canterbury and the Students' Association there has helped hundreds of students this week alone."

Ms Carrell said it was hoped the food bank would be temporary, but the association was prepared to extend the scheme if the need continued.

"The fault lies both with WINZ and with the lack of financial assistance over summer, " said Ms Carrell.

The students' association is now turning to the local and university community for donations. "The WINZ crisis is sudden and we're desperate for support, said Ms. Carrell.

Monetary donations can be made out to the Otago University Students Association and items of non-perishable basic food can be delivered to the OUSA office.

For more information contact: Rachel Carrell Wk: (03) 479 5332 Cell: (021) 254 5391

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