Student volunteers collect 1.5 tons of food for local foodbanks


Student volunteers from Bournemouth University collected 1.5 tons of food and hundreds of pounds for local foodbanks during a day-long charity event.

The Big Feed was organised by the Students’ Union at Bournemouth University (SUBU) to collect much needed donations for foodbanks in the area.

Around 50 students split into teams and spent the day at seven supermarkets across Bournemouth and Poole, competing to collect the most food donations.

They managed to collect over 1.5 tons of food – including 324 cartons of UHT milk, a food staple particularly needed by foodbanks – along with more than £1,113 in cash donations.

Sandy Williams, coordinator of the community food bank in Kinson, said: “It’s amazing. They have done brilliantly and it means an awful lot.

“Our supplies were running so low that we couldn’t make up a single complete pack. We specifically asked for UHT milk as a priority so it is really exciting seeing all of the milk they’ve collected.”

Food banks in the Bournemouth and Poole area have seen a huge rise in demand this year, helping more than 2,000 people since January – a 36 per cent increase on the same period last year.

Mark Elling, events manager for the Trussell Trust charity which runs the foodbanks, said the students’ contribution would make a big difference.

“The food that’s been collected will make a massive difference to help people who are currently in crisis,” he said.

“The day has been absolutely brilliant – it has been extraordinary being out and about seeing students engaging with members of the public and customers being very generous.”

A celebratory ceremony was held in the evening, with prizes and awards for the students who took part.

The team of students who collected the most food won £100 in Waitrose vouchers, a food hamper and a night at BU nightclub The Old Fire Station.

Second year Multi-Media Journalism student Alys Penfold was part of a team who collected at the Alder Road Sainsbury’s supermarket in Poole.

“I was really surprised by how generous people were – we managed to fill four trollies and people were giving us two or three bags of food,” said Alys, 19, who lives in Winton.

“It was exciting to be part of something that was going on for the whole day and we had a laugh trying to think of creative ways to get people to donate.

“It makes you feel good because you know it is going towards something really important.”

To find out more about SUBU volunteering opportunities visit The Hub website.