The Wits Food Bank is running out of food. The food bank is a campaign of the Wits Citizenship and Community Outreach centre (WCCO) aimed at “managing food insecurity among students,” said Karuna Singh who is the manager of the food bank.
The initiative started in 2013 and provides students in need with toiletries and food.
Early into this school year, an email was circulated requesting staff to donate whatever non-perishables they could to the bank as it was nearing depletion.
The food bank left with only food parcels that are donated from Stop Hunger Now, but they need more.
“Those meal packs come with rice, lentils and soya mince, so it’s quite a nice nutritional pack but it’s six meals in a pack and it has to be cooked,” said Singh.
“You can’t possibly eat that every day – students want something faster so tinned foods are good, peanut butter is always brilliant – the protein,” Singh added.
The food bank has steadily been running out of tinned food and other necessities needed to supplement the food parcels they give out to students and as of this week they cannot make a single package, which usually lasts a month.
According to Singh, approximately 500 food parcels have been given to students since July last year, with “an average of eight students a day coming in to collect”.
“Usually the beginning of the year not too many students are in need as they have just come from holiday,” so the bank expects the need to only get greater.
“We have various projects at WCCO where we have groups of students collecting food. So whether it’s though their friends, family, on campus or through awareness days but obviously that can never be enough so we also look for donations through staff.”
Singh said she was hoping staff and students would do their best to help replenish the food bank if they are able to.
The food bank is run on a volunteer basis by Wits students and their offices are located at Student Affairs, Senate House, Room 37A or WCCO, Matrix basement.
Wits Vuvuzela, Seven percent of undergrads at Wits attending lectures without food, July 15, 2014