The Student Affairs (DSA) office at Wits University has responded to the pleas from the Wits EFF to feed hungry students on campus. On April 17, members of the student organisation stormed the main dining hall on campus to take surplus food for hungry students after, they claimed, students had contacted them for assistance. In response the office of Dr Pamela Dube, the Dean of Students, has responded with positive solutions.
Wits EFF chairperson, Vuyani Pambo told Wits Vuvuzela that his organisation is quite happy with the solutions being implemented: “That is the victory that the action got.”
During the dining hall incident, members of Wits EFF chanted that “Students cannot achieve academic excellence on an empty stomach”.
According to the DSA, some of the solutions include:
• The provision of an online form which a needy student has to complete before receiving assistance; So far, 17 students have benefitted from this resolution.
• A needy student is allocated 10 meals from the dining hall then provided with a meal pack from the Wits Food Bank run by the Wits Citizenship and Community Outreach (WCCO), depending on the individual needs of the student. The Food Bank packs contain Stop Hunger Now meal packs.
The DSA says it is also in discussions with the SRC (Student Representatives Council) and Bhakti Yoga society about getting hot meals twice a week from the Hare Krishna Movement, who will soon set up a kitchen at Constitution Hill to feed the hungry local residents. The Wits Food Bank is also planning to work with the national Food Sovereignty Campaign to possibly establish food gardens on campus.
Pambo called on fellow students and staff to donate non-perishable food to help those in need.