Hungry for Change Food Project

With the Students' Union successfully winning a grant of £150,000 for the 'Hungry for Change' project, students are able to get involved in an exciting food growing volunteering opportunity and so much more!

Get involved with the project

So what's the story?

Back in the summer of 2013, the Students' Union bid for a grant of £150,000 for the 'Hungry for Change' project from the Student Green Fund set up jointly by NUS & HEFCE. To the University's delight, the grant was won and a plot in the newly acquired Brookfield site located on London Road was identified as a fantastic home for the student-led project to develop.

The project...

The 'Hungry for Change' project aims to change the way students think about food whether that be seasonal, local, organic, growing your own food or consuming foods that produce less carbon emissions (the list goes on!). The point is to educate and empower students to make their own informed food choices instead of relying on product labelling or presumed company ethics.

Natalie Bennett (front row, second from left) with student volunteers
Credits to Mike LaRosa

What's been going on?

Student volunteers have been kicking off the project by getting their hands dirty during plot days where they have been laying foundations for the plot site and planting several fruit trees and herb plants. Students have also been given the opportunity to take on leadership roles including communications, enterprise and administration duties in order to develop their employability skills.

As an extension of the concepts taught at the growing plot, students have also been involved in awareness raising events. One of these events was the Wheel of Fortune Do or Dare as part of Go Green Week which dared students to try squirrel curry and salt & vinegar coated insects; the point of which was to shock individuals into questioning their own decision-making and to begin breaking down our own cultural constructions of what is acceptable to eat and when.

Getting interest

Most recently, Natalie Bennett, the Green Party Leader, visited the growing site where she spoke to a number of students involved in project enterprises, events, plot days and those taking on the new volunteer leadership roles. Recognising the potential of this urban site, Natalie seemed pleased with our practical efforts to create joined-up thinking between attitude and behaviour towards 'good foods' through a combination of producer-consumer cycles and improving knowledge and access.

Take a look at the University of Leicester press release

What's to come

The project also plans to establish food related departmental links and education for sustainable development across the institution - this will be integral to widening reach and embedding consideration of ethical and environmental foods into consumer habits and lifestyle.

Get Involved!

Plot days are usually held on Wednesday afternoons. Recently, volunteers have been planting mulberry, plum and greengage trees as well as a variety of berries. We're hoping to lay gravel for where the greenhouse will go soon!

Hungry for Change - Food Debate

Student volunteers taking part in The Great Big Food Debate (February 2014)
Credits to Mike LaRosa

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