UA-8884037-5
top of page
2021 BS Logo-Original.png

UKZN Addresses Student Food Insecurity with Sandwich Drive


The UKZN Food Security Programme (UKZN-FSP)

The UKZN Food Security Programme (UKZN-FSP) is taking proactive steps to address student food insecurity through the Sandwich-A-Day initiative that runs across all five campuses daily for the duration of the June examinations.


The initiative aims to provide 1000 sandwiches per campus, with the exception of the Medical School campus which will receive 500 sandwiches due to its size.


This intervention, which was initiated by the Students Representative Council (SRC) and supported by the HIV and AIDS Programme and UKZN Foundation, has been successful in meeting daily targets.


The sandwiches are prepared, packaged and distributed to students by SRC members, who have been actively involved in supporting the food security drive. They have mobilised SRC members, ad-hoc committees, clubs, and societies to assist with meal preparations.


SRC President, Mr Wandile Majozi, said, ‘Hunger is scourging across our campuses, and we are hopeful that this initiative will help students. A student who would have starved and not attended campus to study now gets a chance to do so through the meals provided. Where we could, we've tried to provide juice, tea, and coffee during this winter season.’


As part of the strategic coordination of the UKZN-FSP, Manager of the HIV and AIDS Programme and Disability Support Unit, Mr Amith Ramballie, has been actively involved in ensuring the delivery of food support services. The HIV and AIDS Programme, which he leads, has been volunteering in rolling out the UKZN-FSP for the past three years.


Over the years, the UKZN-FSP has benefited from strategic partnerships with various organisations. Ramballie explains that The Gift of the Givers (GOTG) has provided 250 food hampers per month to UKZN for the past three years, Rise Against Hunger (RAH) has provided as many dry meal packs as required (including rice, soya, lentils, and vitamin sachets), and Food Forward (a partnership, initiated by the UKZN Foundation) supplies various items from local retailers to support the UKZN-FSP.


‘The HIV and AIDS Programme also allocates a portion of its operational budget to purchase sanitary towels for students in need, which are distributed with the food hampers and as required. The department also set aside some of its cost savings for this year to support the Sandwich-A-Day initiative,’ said Ramballie.


The UKZN-FSP acknowledges the significant impact of food insecurity on students' well-being and academic success. ‘With a large number of students relying on financial aid, including those not funded by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), the programme recognises the importance of removing the stress of hunger from their lives. The ultimate goal is to create a positive university experience for all students,’ added Majozi.


Looking ahead, the UKZN-FSP plans to institutionalise the programme, expand the number of students receiving assistance, and establish hot meal kitchens before the end of the year. ‘The overwhelming response from students underscores the urgent need for continued support and expansion of the programme,’ said Ramballie.


The UKZN Student Food Security Programme, established through the UKZN Foundation, received generous support from students, staff, alumni, businesses and members of the public. This funding was also instrumental in the roll-out of the Sandwich-A-Day programme.


Executive Director (acting) of the UKZN Foundation, Mr Steve Camp, said, ‘Food security for many UKZN students is serious for several reasons. As an advocate for student health, I am really excited to see this SRC initiative come to fruition and until we’re able to have something that is more sustainable and a longer-term solution, this initiative is going to be the first resort for hunger-stressed students.’


Ms Kerry Lee Philp of UKZN’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Research and Development (WASH R&D) Centre donated to the programme. ‘I wanted to make a difference because I know how important good nutrition is for students. Good health is a vital part to enable learning. This is one way that I can do something. Projects like these are important as they show an institution’s awareness of and willingness to do something about addressing the basic needs of its students. I encourage more people to donate.’


Associate Professor of Linguistics at the School of Arts, Professor Heike Tappe, added, ‘It’s very difficult to teach when I know many of my students haven’t had a meal and are sitting in my lecture on an empty stomach. Hungry students can’t concentrate on the concepts I’m trying to teach. By contributing monthly to campus food security, I really hope this makes a difference to our students.’


If you want to contribute to the Programme or any other fundraising projects, you can donate at least R50 via https://ukzn.devman.co.za/devman/online/genomics/

댓글

별점 5점 중 0점을 주었습니다.
등록된 평점 없음

평점 추가
bottom of page