Up to 20 students every week are availing of a Food Bank that’s been set up at University College Cork.
The parcels are a direct response to those experiencing poverty but who the student union couldn’t immediately offer financial help to.
Welfare Officer at UCC, Naoise Crowley, says financial hardship among students is being vastly underestimated.
“We want to do our best to tackle this crisis by taking practical steps to support our students struggling with the cost of attending college,” he said.
“UCC SU Food Bank allows us to respond directly and in a tangible manner to one of the most common areas students come to us for assistance.”
The initiative, he believes, will improve student wellbeing: “By ensuring the basic needs of students are met we hope this will have a positive knock-on effect on the mental health of students we support through this initiative.”
“Student poverty and financial hardship is a massively underestimated issue in Irish universities, with approximately 36% of students in Ireland experiencing ‘severe financial problems’,” Naoise said.
“We get people from all walks of life looking for support,” he added, noting that the majority of people availing of the service are students living away from home and struggling with the “living costs associated in Cork”.