University of Free State The No Student Hungry Programme
The project: The No Student Hungry (NSH) Programme provides our students in need with modest food allowances and daily access to one balanced meal. Students are selected in terms of financial need, academic performance, participation in student life, and a commitment to giving back to the community. The programme allows students to focus on their studies without worrying about their next meal, thus increasing their chances to excel academically and ultimately obtain their degrees. This will in turn have a positive effect on poverty reduction in our country.
Research: In 2011, a research study conducted by The Department of Nutrition and Dietetics indicated that 59% of the student population suffers from food insecurity. Many of these students eventually drop out of higher education because of the need to earn an income.
More recent studies also confirm that student food insecurity is a reality among university students. The South African Surveys of Student Engagement (SASSE) Annual Report 2016 indicated that 77% of first-generation students ran out of food without being able to afford food for the rest of the month. These are often students with strong academic records, but without adequate funding for regular meals, and this is why NSH will remain a priority for the university.
Impact: On 1 April 2011, the first students were awarded food bursaries and could use their student cards to purchase daily meals on the Bloemfontein Campus. The NSH Programme already extended its reach to our Qwaqwa Campus in April 2013 and the South Campus in April 2014. 864 students have been assisted and they have given back more than 34 560 community hours to South African communities.
Holistic support: The NSH team meets with our students on a regular basis and they can attend free Student Wellness Workshops throughout the year, which offers personal development and support. Counselling and academic advice services are also available to them, free of charge.
Sustainability and funding: The project requires ongoing funding due to its financial nature. One food bursary amounts to R6 845 per year (R37 per day for 185 academic days). We apply for funding to numerous trusts and organisations annually.
Staff and students are encouraged to contribute, and we are part of the MySchool Programme, which enables individuals countrywide to support us. In addition to NSH, we collect non-perishable food items for our Food Bank which is managed by the social workers on each campus.
See our links for debit order forms as well as access to GivenGain, where international individuals can also make donations towards NSH. You can become a NSH GivenGain Activist and help us to raise funds. Every contribution makes a difference.
For more information, contact Vicky Simpson
T: +27 51 401 7197