The Students Representative Council of the University of Ghana is preparing to roll out a new initiative called the “Food Bank” to help struggling students afford meals and basic provisions.
The initiative is part of the Welfare Act that was passed at the General Assembly’s last sitting on April 27, which seeks to address issues of welfare for the ordinary University of Ghana students.
According to the Head of the Projects and Programmes Committee of the SRC ,Graham Oduro Derry, the idea for the Food Bank initiative came about after a survey conducted by the SRC revealed that some students on campus were struggling to afford meals and basic provisions. The Food Bank initiative aims to offer assistance to these students so that they can successfully engage in academic work.
To ensure the credibility and transparency of the initiative, the Welfare Act will constitute a board to oversee its three branches, which includes the Food Bank.
“But you see, the good thing about this Food Bank is that the Worker Act that we have passed would demand that there is a board that is in charge of all of these three branches. And as part of this board, you have the Dean of Students on the board, you have some members of the Alumni community on board and you have what, the SRC Vice President and even the Welfare and you have even the Welfare Committee head of the SRC as part of this board, at least the credibility of the board speaks for itself and the board is the one that will determine the criteria for selection as to who qualifies to be a beneficiary of the food bank and all of that.” He said.
Derry also noted that the disbursement of provisions and food supplies may not be possible at the beginning of the semester as the SRC is relying on donations and support from individuals or groups. However, by mid-semester, they hope to have gathered a substantial amount of donations to send out to students in need.
“We would have hoped or wished that as the semester is beginning, we would have been able to disburse the first set of provisions or food supplies. But as it stands now, that cannot be possible because we are relying on donations and support from individuals or groups. And most of these ones are not enough. I mean, the one we have is not substantial and if you want to go ahead with that, we wouldn’t be able to have the needed impact. So I think that by the fourth or fifth week, I’m not making any promises, but we’ll do our best.”
Declaring that the success and sustainability of the initiative depend on the collective responsibility of the University of Ghana community, he appealed to all members, including lecturers and students, to support the initiative by donating some of the food items.
“I want to use this opportunity to appeal to all members of the university community, whether it be lecturers, whether it be students, anybody at all who is well-to-do or one or the other can support with even a tin of Milo and a tin of milk. We really would appreciate it. So you can reach out to any of the executives, and then they would gladly take those goods and give them to the bodies in charge.” He appealed.
The SRC’s Food Bank initiative is a promising step in addressing the welfare needs of students who are struggling to afford basic necessities at the University of Ghana.