Community kitchen opens for Bournemouth university students struggling with soaring food costs

One of our writers discusses the consequences of the cost of living crisis on university students.

Poppy Bedford
18th October 2022
Image credit: Instagram (@sububournemouth)
The cost-of-living crisis is posed to hit hard this winter and, despite promised government intervention, it appears that the brunt of the struggle will be faced by lower income houses, including many students.

To try and combat this, Bournemouth university has set up their very own community kitchen for students, run and organised by their student union (SUBU).

Gillian Lewis, SUBU’s community projects leader has said “University students may not be able to afford essential items as the cost-of-living soars” which already proves to be true as supermarket prices rise and 1 in 3 students report that they are left with less than £50 after bills have been paid.

The community kitchen runs off of donated items from local businesses and residents and provides free hot dinners, snacks as well as pantry and fridge food; toiletries and sanitary products are also provided if necessary.

This idea, helping students deal with the soaring cost of living, has been acknowledged by many institutions, including the university of York who are granting students outside of university accommodation up to £150 to deal with rising bills and the university of Sheffield have set up ‘food cupboards’ where local businesses donate food and goods not sold by the time businesses the close.

Jack Butler, operations director at ‘Save the Student’, a website which seeks to help students save money, has said “a lot of students are getting sucked into the situation where they can’t afford to keep themselves afloat” and “I’ve never been more worried” as he references the upcoming winter and the struggles we are all set to face. With the projections for this winter, it’s not surprising that universities are trying to help their students as, recently, 59% said they struggle with mental health issue’s surrounding money.

Stretched finances have long been a feature of university life and probably something we all expected to face in our time here, however, the struggle we’re facing as inflation continues to rise and bills go up, is not something we should have to struggle with as we enter and continue with our studies. Struggling to eat should not be a memory of our student life.

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