15. Food Parcel

Sophie Milnes

Since 2021, the UK has been facing a rapidly accelerating ‘Cost-of-Living’ Crisis, of which university students represent a particularly vulnerable group. Interventions such as food parcels and community pantries are being used creatively as mitigating measures by universities and student unions in the UK.

Their scale and scope demonstrate the adverse impacts to the student population. Sophie’s research traces the more subtle, and often silenced, impacts on young people’s everyday campus geographies, looking at the ways in which financial pressures and instability may drive new social phenomenon. Students are now facing more heavily weighted decisions over their university lifestyles, with more urgent prioritisation of part-time work, and decisions surrounding accommodation, commuting and the use of free time, such as extra-curricular engagement or volunteering becoming more financially, socially and emotionally costly. Sophie’s research project aims to explore the ways in which university life is shifting for young people during this current period of change.