By Patrick Sullivan, Co-Editor-in-Chief
New students have boosted the student-led team for the University of Bristol Foodbank, who have four donation points and are looking to expand their reach.
The University of Bristol FoodBank Society was refounded as a society earlier in 2019 and since their first Freshers’ Fair on 27 September, the number of student volunteers signed up has increased from less than ten to over 100 as of 12 October.
Volunteers help move food from the designated donation boxes in Beacon House, Wills Memorial Building, Senate House SU Living Room and the ASSL and deliver them as grouped ‘parcels’ to food banks around the city. The food then gets distributed to people in the city who hold emergency food vouchers and are in need of the supplies.
The society has also teamed up with café chain Pret A Manger and collected over 60 items from their Cabot Circus outlet for their first delivery at the start of October. They have since increased the number of Pret collections to twice per week.
FoodBank President, Ellen Bradley, said: ‘We’ve had such an amazing response from students this year, it’s really encouraging to see how many people are willing to give up their free time and volunteer with us. Our aim is to get every Halls of Residence and University Faculty to implement a scheme for non-perishable foods and we need students to support this scheme by donating food to our boxes around Uni.
‘We have a lot planned for this year: our upcoming coffee morning, teaming up with the Multifaith Chaplaincy pop-up café, and collecting leftovers from more cafés around Bristol. Ultimately I want to have café collections every day of the week and the leftover food taken to homeless shelters around City Centre.’
FoodBank are hosting a social coffee meet in the SU Living Room with Bristol Student Action for Refugees on 13 November, 3-4pm, where they are inviting students to bring a single tin of food in exchange for cake. The Facebook event can be found here.
The society are also looking for other student-led groups to help support them by arranging similar social or outreach events.
Featured Image: University of Bristol FoodBank
Do you have any spare tins to donate to the FoodBank?