The WCCO has launched a daily meal programme that provides lunch for about 1000 needy students.
Wits University students who struggle to find a meal each day will now be helped through a newly launched feeding scheme by the Wits Citizen and Community Outreach (WCCO) in collaboration with the Gift of the Givers.
Tthe Masidleni Daily Meal Project will provide warm meals every weekday during all academic terms for about 1000 students in need.
The programme was officially launched by the WCCO on April, 6 at the Matrix student center on main campus and at the Wits Education campus. The programme aims to provide a lunch meal for the students at the two Wits campuses, weekdays from 1pm-2pm.
The senior programme advisor for the WCCO, Karuna Singh, said that due to limited funds the programme is only able to accommodate a limited number of students. These students were identified by the university through an application process.
“We looked at students who were first in family, those who lived far from campus and students who had no financial support. Students are included in the project if they are referred by lecturers, admin staff, Campus Health and CCDU if they are struggling. Since we fundraise for the project it is difficult to open it to all students who may be in need”, she said.
However, Singh says, the WCCO tries to provide meals for any student in need despite the logistical and administrative challenges.
Rose Sendege, third year BA, says that she has benefitted immensely from the programme. “I am on NSFAS, however I don’t receive an allowance and my parents are unemployed so the programme does help me, at least I know that I have something to eat for lunch, she said.
Singh hopes that the programme will expand and become institutionalized. The WCCO currently receives individual and corporate funding in order to efficiently run their programmes such as Masidleni and the Food Bank. Both programmes provide food for about 3000 students at Wits.