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QUBSU have announced their new partnership with Storehouse, a charity founded to fight poverty in Belfast. This partnership came about after two student union councillors Sarah Wright and Oisín Hassan passed a motion, in Student Council, asking the SU to look into setting up a committee, with the aim of establishing a food bank within the Union.
Both students are members of SPAG (Student Poverty Alliance Group); a society at Queen’s set up to abolish student poverty. A meeting was arranged with Storehouse and representatives from the student officer team and councillors present.
Storehouse was formed in 2008, aimed to help those living in poverty and provide them with the essentials to survive. They are currently partnered with a variety of charities, accepting donations of food, clothing and furniture.
Speaking about the newly formed partnership Sarah Wright said, “Student Councillors became aware of peers who didn’t know where their next meal was coming from, and were in severe food poverty through no fault of their own. Thankfully Storehouse Belfast has a convenient and well-resourced food bank in the city centre, and we were able to become official partners. Students no longer will be sent away from the union without being able to access food for themselves and their families”
VP Community and VP Welfare elect for 2015-16, Chloe Patterson explained that the Student Union will be accepting donations over a fortnight period, beginning on the 8th of June, as this will coincide with students moving out of their student accommodation. She highlighted that dry food, clothes, furniture and crockery will be accepted, but that a list of acceptable items will be published soon.
Student Poverty Alliance Group member Paul Loughran commented that poverty has reached peak levels in the UK, with over one million using foodbanks, and that it is up to society to protect the most vulnerable.
Students who are going through a difficult time or are in need of an emergency food parcel are advised to contact the SU money management advisor Debbie Forsey firstname.lastname@example.org.