In March this year, AUTSA launched Foodie Godmother, a service that gives students free living essentials such as food and personal hygiene products to students in need.
There is a Foodie Godmother at each of AUTSA’s offices at North, South and City campuses and students can take up to five items from the wide variety available.
The service relies on people giving items or making a financial donation, so the pantries are well stocked. But Foodie Godmother also relies on volunteers who want to help students and improve their university experience to run the service. AUTSA say over 130 students are visiting the Foodie Godmother each month.
“Around 10% of students come back a second time, but after that revisits are rare. If a student is visiting the pantry often, the team uses this as an indicator that they might need to follow up with that student to see if there are additional ways they can contribute to their well-being,” said Student Engagement Coordinator Mauricio Lozano.
Since its launch, Foodie Godmother has now expanded to serve a free all-day breakfast in the student lounge at each campus from Monday to Friday. It has also begun growing raised food gardens across all three campuses, to provide students with fresh produce that they can pick straight from the garden.
Foodie Godmother is in constant need of donations due to the significant number of students using the service.
Donations of long-life food such as cans, rice and pasta are welcome, as well as hygiene items like tampons, menstrual cups, shower gel, soap and toilet paper which are the most popular amongst students.
Financial donations can be made to the Foodie Godmother bank account: 06-0158-00030680-025.
Volunteers are also welcome to help plant and maintain the raised food gardens across the three campuses and help with tasks such as distributing items like laundry powder for the pantry.
For more information or to donate or volunteer, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, visit foodiegodmother.org or call (09) 921 9805
Hear from Student Engagement Coordinator Mauricio Lozano, and students Jacqueline Morgan, Cheska Lacson, Denise Page and Cherie Toepa about how Foodie has made a difference.