A project has seen hundreds of students donate crates of otherwise wasted food and household items to local people in need.
The RAWKUS summer collection, which last year collected 1800 kilograms of food and 40 crates of other items for us by charities in the nearby community, extended its outreach to student homes in Leamington and on-campus.
This year the team, which was made up of about 100 volunteers, collected a total of 428 crates which have since been distributed to various charities in and around Coventry and Leamington.
The charities include Coventry Cyrenians, Emmaus Coventry, Carriers of Hope Coventry, Lillington Youth Centre, Leamington Night Shelter and the Fry Housing Trust.
Sophie Morbey, a second year Politics and International Studies student who helped to co-ordinate the event along with her friend Milly McIntyre said: “It’s been a pleasure to watch this project grow from the first meeting we had of four volunteers to one that managed to collect approximately 10,700 kilograms worth of food in just one weekend.
“It has been a wonderful project to help organise, and I can’t wait to see what else we can achieve.”
The food and household items that have been collected will be used to help those that are either homeless or suffering extreme poverty in the Coventry and Leamington areas.
Outgoing postgraduate sabbatical officer Andrew Thompson attended the event. He said: “The extension into Leamington Spa for collections was a brilliant idea, further increasing their positive impact in the community, and making a difference to families in Leamington and Coventry who rely on services like food banks.
“Whilst the totals are phenomenal, we must also use this to challenge these issues of wastage and students’ purchasing an overabundance of food.”
Yet despite this success, the project is still seeking to gain more volunteers for the next academic year.
Gareth Knott, from the RAWKUS project, said: “It is a fact of national shame that in the 5th wealthiest country in the world 1 million people need to use food banks. Yet at the same time tonnes of food simply goes to waste.
But “over the weekend RAWKUS volunteers went through over 400 kitchens on campus and collected food in the trays or in the cupboards. This food is then distributed to foodbanks and homeless shelters in Coventry and Leamington.”
Potential volunteers are encouraged to look for the group ‘Team Rawkus’ on Facebook.