Where to Access Support: All Should Eat

With the current cost-of-living crisis, food shopping is an added stress for lots of students. All Should Eat is here to help.

All Should Eat is a student-led volunteering project focussing on bridging the gap between students at UoY and local food charities. Donation boxes across campuses collect donations of non-perishable food and household items which are taken to community centres and other food organisations.

Speaking with Vision, All Should Eat (ASE) is all too aware of the pressures on students. ‘With student loans not fully covering rent and living costs, we are aware of the strain put on students’, ASE tells me, ‘All Should Eat donate food and money to charities and organisations outside of the university, but many of these are available to all York residents, including students. We try to raise awareness of these organisations so students know where they can go for support’.

All Should Eat collect all sorts of donations. Image: UOY All Should Eat / Instagram

‘We work closely with Tang Hall Big Local, who offer support through advice hubs and events such as YourCafe, open to anyone living in York, or their Friday Breakfast Clubs for anyone living in Tang Hall specifically.’

These events aim to reduce food waste and food poverty, offering pay as you feel supermarkets, refreshments or breakfast, and the opportunity to talk to Citizens Advice, Social Housing and local councillors. You can find more information on their website: https://www.thbl.org.uk/directory/tang-hall-community-centre/

‘We also have spotlights for charities on our Instagram (@uoy_allshouldeat) such as Door84, Scoop and New Earswick Helping Hands which tell you what these charities do and their contact details.’

Information on community food banks and charities which do not require a referral can be found here: https://www.york.gov.uk/HelpWithFood

Information on food banks in York can be found here: https://york.foodbank.org.uk/locations/

Alongside these organisitions, ASE tells me that the university offers cost-of-living support. This information can be found in the support and advice section of their website, which provides information on grants you can apply for and provides budgeting tips. For support with food insecurity specifically, there is also information on food vouchers and budget hot food on campus organised by YUSU.

ASE run fortnightly collections of donations from our boxes on campus, and fundraising events throughout the year. Termly, they run donation drives encouraging students who are going home for the holidays to donate any unwanted food such as tins and pasta. But this isn’t all they do.

‘In addition to volunteering, we run social events so you can meet more people involved in the project. We have fortnightly picnic socials and open meetings where you bring something for you to eat (and donate if you can), and discuss any ideas you have.’

‘We collaborate with other societies at the University to raise donations and spread awareness to help combat food insecurity. This includes a collaboration FemSoc in a period poverty campaign, to raise money to buy £385 worth of sanitary products for The Hygiene Bank; raising donations and funds for UOY Amnesty’s Secret Policeman’s Ball; organising a talk and Q&A on ‘Disabled People and Food Insecurity’ led by a local disability rights campaigner and activist, Helen Jones.’

Volunteers work hard all year round. Image: UOY All Should Eat / Instagram

‘I wont reveal too much about what we have planned for this year, but you should follow our Instagram for updates!’

‘Through the generosity of students and staff donating extra food and the support of our volunteers we hope to make a difference in the local community. We want to make it easier for students to volunteer and get involved. We aim to raise awareness about food poverty and of the support available. We want everyone to be able to share their ideas as to the future direction of our project and meet likeminded people through our events.’

If you’re in the lucky position where you don’t have to use the services ASE provides, here’s how you can get involved!

  • Register for ASE’s free membership on the YUSU website, which will add you to the mailing list and give you access to the WhatsApp group.
  • You can then volunteer through collecting and transporting donations or helping with fundraising stalls.
  • You can also get involved in social events such as picnic socials, documentary screenings and collaborative events with other societies.
  • If you are looking for other opportunities to volunteer outside of the university, there is more information in our weekly spotlights on their Instagram (@uoy_allshouldeat).

‘We would love to see some new faces at our events this year, and welcome any new ideas for fundraising and society collaborations!’