Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Hungry Students Overwhelm Food Bank

Hungry Students Overwhelm Food Bank

The Otago University Students’ Association has had a record October and a record year for Food Bank use.

“October exceeded our projected demand with 107 students needing the Food Bank”, said the OUSA Welfare Officer Shonelle Eastwood. “There has been a 64% increase in use in 2011 with 522 cases, compared to 318 in 2010.”

“It’s also the first year we’ve had to send financial assistance packages to distance students who have requested help at our Canterbury and Wellington campuses.” Said Ms. Eastwood. ”Students say they face higher living costs, it’s harder to find work, and Student Allowance and Student Loan Living component adjustments aren’t meeting the increased costs that students face.”

OUSA currently works on a no questions asked policy for a student using the food bank for the first time, and offers free budgeting advice as well as offering cheap meal plans and recipes to help students who are struggling.

“The increases in rent, food prices, and electricity, are not met by increases in the Allowance or access to the $169.51 Living Component of the Student Loan”, said Ms Eastwood.

“Even the most budget cautious and conscientious students struggle to make the numbers work. The average rent in Dunedin is $110, power of $15, insurance of $5, phone and internet around $5, general flat gear and food of at least $40 then students are left with a deficit of about $5 a week”, Ms. Eastwood said.

“We know students want to work and will work when there are jobs. One positive element in the picture is that Student Job Search has connected students to more jobs this year, increasing worker hours from last year’s low point by some 11%. But there are still more students wanting work than there are jobs.” Said Ms. Eastwood.

Due to the increase in demand the budget for the service has been exceeded for the 2011 year. The OUSA is reviewing the food bank system so it can remain sustainable in 2012.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Ockhams: Pip Adam Wins Premier Book Award

A novel which judges say ‘will bring readers back from the dead’ has won the 2018 $50,000 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize in the country’s premier book awards. More>>


Voyager Award Winner: “Sempy’s Xmas”

Congratulations to Kent Blechynden, who won a Voyager Media Award for this photo essay, published on Scoop in December.

Michael “Semp” Semple is an old school punk rocker from New Plymouth who is on the methadone programme... On Christmas day he thought he would be alone but two of his mates, “Mikey” and “Stacey”, turned up for some banter. More>>


Auckland & Christchurch: Bob Dylan Returns To NZ

The cross-generational icon will take in Auckland’s Spark Arena on Sunday 26th August and Christchurch’s Horncastle Arena on Tuesday 28th August. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Who Killed Jane?

This is an important book. Why? Because any publication that soberly and sensibly attempts to cast light on an unsolved murder is important, for the very real reasons that not only do the bereaved require and deserve a sense of closure, but that the murderer or murderers may be closer to being confirmed, arrested, tried. More>>

Comedy Fest: A Tasty Programme

2018 NZ INTERNATIONAL 26 APRIL – 20 MAY This April and May the 2018 NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo, hits Auckland and Wellington with one of the tastiest comedy line-ups of its 26-year-old history!... More>>


Max Rashbrooke Review: Ravishing Berlioz And Ravel

In this engaging, French-inflected performance, full of strengths, perhaps the standout was the mezzo soprano Sasha Cooke. Wellington has been visited by a few high profile singers recently, notably Anne Sofie von Otter, but few have impressed me as much ... More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland