UCD Students’ Union has launched a new initiative in partnership with M&K Meats Ltd. with the aim of providing students with cheap, healthy food at an affordable price. The scheme, named Clever Cuisine, charges €10 for the delivery of freshly chopped vegetables and meat, and recipes for four meals for a week.
The idea for the scheme came from a survey conducted by the SU, which found that over 81% of students admitted to skipping a meal over the course of the previous month due to financial constraints. UCDSU President, Rachel Breslin said: “We started looking at a scheme where students could get cheap, healthy food and there’s a model already existing in Cork so we decided to look at that and see if a model could be applied here that was pretty similar. The gist of the scheme is that you can buy healthy food that is directly from a meat and veg supplier chopped and ready to prepare every week, and that there’s a different one every week so that you’re still getting variety whilst being able to get the reductions because of the scale.”
The scheme is open to UCD students at €10 and non-UCD students at €12, with the latter mostly aimed at UCD’s staff. The reason for the cost increase for non-students was to cover the printing, website and laser costs of the SU. Breslin has said, however, that the scheme’s main target will be first years “because it’s their first time cooking for themselves it’s the first time for them to do an actual budget, and I know, I found it most difficult to budget and to plan my income and expenditure in first year because you have all these new expenses that you’ve never heard of before … I think they will be the ones who will most benefit from it, but there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be second, third and forth years as well.’’
This was a scheme which the SU had tried to initiate last semester, however Breslin said that the delay lay in “getting the website built, getting the website to take laser, and ironing out all the creases with it. It [The scheme] has just evolved.”
Since its launch yesterday, the website, clevercuisine.ie has had “over 500 people signed up”. Breslin’s main aim at the moment is “to see is people looking at the website … and we’re getting some feedback which is really good and what we want at this stage.”