UCD Students’ Union (UCDSU) President Micheal Gallagher has announced the return of the Kylemore Food Scheme after its successful launch in early 2012.
The scheme is being re-launched by the Kylemore Services Group in conjunction with the UCDSU Welfare & Equality Office, and Gallagher says its aim to provide “free lunches for students that have been identified as being in severe financial difficulty”, as the SU aims to support those who may be struggling to afford meals.
In relation to eligibility for the scheme, Gallagher stressed that UCDSU Vice-President for Welfare & Equality, Cian Dowling, had already begun identifying students in need.
It is hoped that it will be a step up from the previous campaign in terms of numbers of students eligible to receive these vouchers. He also urged any students who are experiencing financial difficulty to get in contact with either their student advisor, a member of the chaplaincy, or Dowling himself.
Kylemore have agreed to cover the entire cost of the scheme after concerns were raised over funding issues. The expiry date of the vouchers is not yet known, as the duration of the scheme is yet to be revealed.
This scheme is just one of many initiatives being run by the Students’ Union in relation to making healthy, affordable food available to students. Gallagher offered advise to students who are trying to feed themselves on a tight budget, pointing out the SU initiative, www.clevercuisine.ie, where students can avail of four meals for only €10.
He also encouraged them to check out the “better than noodles” section onthe UCDSU website, which “informs students, through YouTube tutorials, how to cook food on a budget.”
The Kylemore group operate the majority of the food outlets on campus, including Readers, Starbucks, and the Java Café and this re-invented food scheme comes as a welcome resource for students struggling to meet their own basic needs.
The continuing issues surrounding Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) and the delayed provision of the maintenance grant to thousands of students makes this scheme very important.
These delays mean that many students entered college this September without a determination on their grant application status, with some students who had applied for grants during the 2012/13 academic year still without decisions at the end of that year last May. The support service aimed to centralise grant applications for all students in a bid to streamline the service and increase efficiency.