Newcastle University SU to open food bank as cost of living crisis soars
One in 10 students said they’ve used a food bank in the last year
Newcastle University Students’ Union (NUSU) has announced plans to open its own food bank to support students.
In a statement made this week, the NUSU said a free “pantry” will be made available to help tackle the effects of the cost-of-living crisis.
The NUSU said: “Supporting students through this crisis is our priority, with the government forgetting or rather disregarding how heavily students are impacted.”
The plans follow a recent survey by ‘Save the Student’, who said that 82 per cent of students are worried about making ends meet, with one in 1o saying they’ve used a food bank in the last year.
The student money survey 2022, found that 52 per cent of students have thought about dropping out due to money difficulties.
Save the Student’s money expert, Jake Butler, said: “This is the most worried I’ve ever been about the financial situation students are facing. This year’s findings are bleak. And we expect much worse is yet to come.”
NUSU has also announced it’ll be lobbying for the university to increase hardship funding with wider eligibility criteria, PECs for the cost of living crisis and cheaper food on campus.
In an open letter to the new Secretary of State for Education, Kit Malthouse, the Liverpool Hope Student Union President, Erin Meharry, wrote: “One in three students are left with £50 or less each month after paying their rent and bills.”
Working alongside National Union of Students, the open letter urges the government to review current maintenance loan thresholds, raise it more accurately in line with inflation rates and create a tailored rent and energy package to allow students to continue their studies.
You can read the letter in full here.
Speaking to Metro.co.uk, a Newcastle University spokesperson said: “We know this is a worrying time for students and we have already introduced a range of practical measures to help support them during the cost-of-living crisis.
“Measures include warm 24/7 study spaces; facilities and lounges which are open in the evenings; financial support for engaging in student activities, clubs and societies; emergency food vouchers for students in crisis; financial support for placements and employment opportunities and a free programme of activities for students living in our residencies.
“Last year, we introduced additional measures to help students, such as an increase in hardship allocations and the number of bursaries and scholarships we offered, together with more information and advice on how to manage finances.”
The Newcastle Tab has contacted the NUSU for further comment.
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