The Cambridge University Foodbank Society aims to help local foodbanks and charities provide food for those who need it whilst reducing the amount of food wasted by the University.
The society was born out of frustration at it being the norm for students to indulge themselves until the early hours of the morning at May Balls whilst homeless people go without food just hundreds of metres away.
From the hard work of Churchill students Shivan Thakrar (Medicine), Emily Payne (Chemical Engineering) and Madgalene student Ravi Thakar (Medicine) the society swiftly gained enormous support, obtaining hundreds of signatures at the Fresher’s Fair. James D’Rozario (Churchill, Natural Sciences) and Stephen Woodmansey (Churchill, Medicine) also provide their assistance on the executive committee to enable the society to expand yet further.
Churchill College currently acts at the ‘hub’ for all things CU Foodbank related and has supported the Society’s activities. Speaking about Churchill’s support, Vice President James D’Rozario said:
“Churchill College has supported us in every aspect of our work and it’s great to know that student-led initiatives can rally encouragement from even the most senior of Fellows. Within the first few months of our society’s launch our work was featured in both the Huffington Post and The Cambridge News which goes to show just how much of an impact the society seems to be having”
The society currently runs a food box scheme where students “drop” any unwanted foods and are free to take any foods that will be used. At the end of term, students are encouraged to donate food to local foodbanks by leaving it in these boxes. James believes this could have a real impact for local charities and foodbanks providing food to those in need:
“If every student in Cambridge donated just one item of food it would total roughly 20,000 items — imagine how many people this could feed! The ultimate aim is to help university affiliated places, such as colleges and departments, to form relationships with local foodbanks and charities and to donate their excess food.”
Students can support the society in any number of ways: by becoming a college representative, joining the committee, signing up to the CU Foodbank mailing list or by just using its schemes to show that the students of Cambridge care about this cause!