Recently, we visited one of our Salford based projects and had a chat with a student volunteer who also regularly visits the meal as a guest. In their own words, they told us what they think about FoodCycle.
Volunteering as a student
I am a student at the University of Manchester and I first moved here about a year ago and that’s when I first found out about this FoodCycle. I live with a group of other students, we used to live just down the street here and we’ve just moved another street away but we’re still local.
I’m a part-time student and part-time doing work experience as well as part of my course. I’m doing my work experience at the Salford Royal Hospital.
I’m from Asia, which is tropical. Manchester is quite different, there’s lots of rain here but still, people are very friendly.
When I moved here, I really wanted to know my community. I used to live in a rough area and I wanted to know what my community was like so I asked the receptionist who gave me a flyer and said why don’t you come to FoodCycle and get to know your community better. I thought okay I’ll turn up and after that, it has been mainly about the food.
After being here for a while I started volunteering and I think it’s been really helpful getting to know people.
I cook for myself and I usually eat alone, often cold food like sandwiches. I very rarely eat out because it’s expensive and I’m on a student budget.
I keep coming back because I get to meet more people. The people here, we have built quite strong bonds together and we have been to other community events together. The food is amazing and I really enjoy it. It’s always so healthy and it always amazes me how they can turn recycled food into such an amazing meal. It’s like my highlight of the week and it’s probably the only day I eat out as well. I have taken food home with me before and I know if I can’t finish it I’ll freeze it or I’ll recook it.
I’ve actually learnt how to make a few things, for example, bread and butter pudding and pudding in general as well. Cooking as well, like lasagne. I never knew how to make it and then I came here and they have amazing recipes. Even the non-volunteers who come here they share their recipes and I really enjoy it. It’s helped with my cooking definitely.
I’m really grateful for FoodCycle, it’s been amazing to meet people and to go to both projects. Keep it up you’re amazing people!
Are you interested in becoming a student volunteer? Sign up here.