Ever since the launch of the #Move4Food campaign in August last year, the aim of raising R10 million in donations and funds in order to establish sustainable food banks at Stellenbosch University (SU), was high on the priority list. However, no food banks have, as of yet, been established on campus.
According to Candice Egan, manager of the #Move4Food campaign and in charge of Fundraising: Corporates and Government at the Alumni Office, no food banks are going to be established because “there is no one-size-fits-all to addressing student access to this kind of support, but all non-perishable food-items that were collected have been distributed through the Centre for Student Counsel- ling and Development (CSCD) at the SU campus and via the Pantry Project at Tygerberg campus”.
“To date, approximately R680,000 worth of non-perishable food items had been received and distributed. All food stores have now been depleted due to a high up take. And students are currently being assisted via meal vouchers to selected residential dining halls and other meal suppliers as well as fund allocation to Intellimali cards,” Egan said.
Eendrag’s annual Damestouch was one way in which students donated non-perishable food items for #Move4Food. In order to participate in the tournament, one had to collect a certain number of non-perishables.
According to Tiaan Fourie, Eendrag HK-member who was in charge of the Damestouch donations, no feedback was received of where the food went that students gathered.
“The campaign was definitely effective in raising enough food, but the feedback on where the food went and to whom it was givenwas not as effective,” Fourie said. According to Lauren Stevenson, SRC representative for the #Move-4Food campaign, the social workers at the CSCD were responsible for distributing the non-perishable food items on campus.
“The reason why it is the CSCD that is distributing the food is because they are also focused on psychology and counselling and they look further than the means test (to see if a student qualifies for food grants).The means test is dependent on the family’s income to define how much help they will get, if there is an issue that goes beyond the means test then the CSCD can go look and see that you are in need even though your means test might say that you are not.
“This (the students who qualifies for help from #Move4Food) includes NSFAS students from the R0-R360 000 income group for first years and second years, and from third year it was only until “R0-R120 000” for third years and above. The R120 000-R360 000 third year income group and theR360 000-R600 000 first and second year income groups are the miss- ing middle and they also qualify for help. Students who would fall into these categories would bene-fit from the food grants, but if they are not included in these groups the CSCD would investigate andsee if the student qualifies for help.”
At the time of print, the CSCD did not respond to enquiries from Die Matie, after being contacted repeatedly.
According to a student helpedby the campaign, he was grantedvouchers to eat at the SU Botani-cal Garden from 1-8 December lastyear when he went to ask for helpat the Student Affairs office.
“It was kind of a hustle [to getaccess to the vouchers], as if they didn’t want to give the vouchers [to me] at first. They first asked me to go to the bursary offices. When I got to the bursary offices, they said they couldn’t help me and I had to go back to the student affairs office and that’s when they only helped me,” he said.