All Should Eat is a volunteer-led charity committed to combating food poverty in the local area.
They are a relatively new society on campus: the idea for the project came in 2020, and the society was ratified in the academic year of 2020/2021.
All Should Eat was recently awarded the Most Improved Volunteering Project at the YUSU Activities Awards.
On 9 June, one of the three founding members, Laurel Ellis, won Volunteer of the Year at the Love York Awards.
Nouse spoke to Amber Hawkins, Project Coordinator at All Should Eat. She explained that the project is based around the belief that “everyone should have access to basic human necessities like toiletries and food”.
Amber explained that their aim is “to bridge the gap between students and local food banks”.
They have set up nine donation boxes around both campuses, and volunteers from the society regularly pick up donations from and transport donations to Tang Hall Community centre.
Additionally, Amber explained that the project aims to “raise awareness about food poverty – we have upcoming talks run by external and internal groups alongside various collaborations and screenings.
“Hopefully, as more people become aware of food poverty and the issues surrounding it, they’ll be more inclined to help out the local and wider community,” she added.
Amber got involved after finding All Should Eat on the YUSU website. She began as Volunteer Officer and she now acts as the main point of contact and committee chair in her role as Project Coordinator. Nouse asked Amber about her new role. She explained that the committee often work collaboratively: “As we are still quite a new project, the roles are flexible and we understand that volunteering can take quite a bit of a toll on students and as such we very much encourage support within the committee where we all take on roles we are able and comfortable to, regardless of our specific title.
“I’d like to think that I represent the society both to the wider community and also within our committee, and that I am approachable and friendly enough for committee members and volunteers to suggest new ideas, ask for help when they need it and work alongside me to help with the broader focus of tackling food poverty”.
Nouse asked how we, as students at the University of York, can help to combat food poverty. Amber said that “unfortunately, there’s no simple, easy solution to eradicate food poverty as a lot of the issues we are faced with are systemic.
As such, we need lots of voices raising awareness, changing their habits and taking part in helping out their communities as much as possible.
“Definitely get involved with All Should Eat – we are hoping to develop connections with other local food banks and related charities but our relationship with Tang Hall Community Centre is a great way to find out a bit more about how they run their food bank and to identify the needs of the local community”.
She went on to say “donating items that are in your cupboard or that you are able to donate is always appreciated”.
Accessibility is something the society “would really like to prioritise going forward”.
It is important to the leaders of the project that their work is as inclusive as possible, as Amber emphasised: “we are working on making our social media more inclusive and accessible, with Megan (our lovely Social Media and Outreach officer) incorporating image descriptions in our posts and being more mindful about the colours we use.
“Hopefully this means that as many people as possible are able to contact us and access relevant information”.
The society has been discussing accessibility with regards to food banks and encouraging people to keep this in mind when donating.
Amber suggests “picking up something vegan or gluten-free so that we are supporting as many people as we can! I also want to reiterate that it isn’t just food poverty we are tackling – we always appreciate donations of sanitary items, cleaning supplies and toiletries like toothpaste!”
To find out more about All Should Eat, you can find them on Instagram: @uoy_allshouldeat, and they also have a Facebook page and private Facebook group.
Membership is free on the YUSU website