University of Manchester residents donate over £85,000 and 2,300 meals for charity

Undergraduate student residents leaving halls have donated 6,125 bags of unwanted clothes, shoes, books, electrical appliances and crockery to the British Heart Foundation in the annual ‘Give It Don’t Bin It’, end of year campaign.

This has been calculated as the equivalent of £85,750 worth of donations to the charity helping them to fund life-saving research into heart disease.

As well as across The University of Manchester’s halls of residence, the campaign works in partnership with Manchester City Council, who deliver the campaign to off-campus student housing, with the support of the University’s Volunteering Team, Manchester Metropolitan University halls and Manchester Student Homes, who support the campaign in the cities’ private halls. Across the partnership over 14,700 bags have been donated, which is an equivalent to £206,178 donated to the charity.

Unopened food items were also collected through the end of term reuse scheme. Students in University of Manchester halls were asked to donate unopened food tins and packets that they had left in their cupboards to Manchester central foodbank, who support people in food poverty living across Manchester. Almost one tonne of food items was donated which equates to 2,357 meals.

Simon Merrywest, Director for the Student Experience, said: “The end of year is a very busy time for our students, however this is great to see that even when they are moving out of our halls, they can make a difference by giving unwanted items to charities, who can use the donations to support people across Manchester and the wider area.”

In addition to the efforts of students, the catering team within the University’s nine halls has also been making a difference, winning The University Catering Organisation’s (TUCO) prestigious award for the most sustainable university caterers for 2017 and also being awarded the highest level of 3 stars by the Sustainable Restaurant Association.

The awards are for the team’s transition to working with more local organic farms, the development Manchester Veg People - a local food cooperative in Manchester from which food from within 50 miles of the city is used, creating a Christmas meal for carers and homeless people around Fallowfield, and prioritising healthy eating on menus.

In addition only Marine Stewardship Council approved fish is served in any outlets and 50% of the menu is now vegetarian and vegan.

James Thompson, Vice-President for Social Responsibility, said: “The University is committed to Environmental Sustainability & Social Responsibility and it is great to see that the Food In Residence team have put this agenda at the centre of the business to ensure the University plays its part in supporting local suppliers and opting for more sustainable food sources in order to help address key challenges in the food industry.”

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