Flinders Community Market for students
In times of need, the strength of community spirit at Flinders University is strong – including its volunteers who ensure students have access to affordable and nutritious food through a weekly community market.
The Flinders Community Market was launched in 2018 to provide students with access to free fruit and vegetables, along with a range of low-cost pantry items. Initiated by the University’s Oasis Student Wellbeing Centre and Flinders University Student Association, the markets are held each Thursday during term.
Sarah Harding, Community Development Officer of Flinders Oasis Student Wellbeing Centre, says the onset of COVID-19 restrictions saw student demand for the market increase, especially among international students and those residing on campus.
‘Good nutrition is central to students performing at their best,’ says Sarah. ‘Beyond helping students to eat well, the market also gives them a sense of connection and community.’
Xueqing (Mel) Wang with Sarah Harding
Each week, the market is supported by eight enthusiastic student volunteers who help set up, facilitate, serve and pack away the market.
Xueqing (Mel) Wang, a third-year Bachelor of Social Work student from China, volunteers at the market and is pleased to be part of a service that provides fellow students with basic needs and essential nutrition. She has also benefitted both personally and professionally from the opportunity to volunteer at the markets.
‘Volunteer experiences enhance my knowledge and skills of social work,’ says Xueqing (Mel) Wang.
‘I chose to study a social work degree because the core values encourage me to fight for equality and to support vulnerable individuals and groups. Volunteering connects directly to this.
‘At the markets I most enjoy seeing the smiles on students’ faces. My self-confidence has increased by interacting with so many diverse people, and the role of volunteer has brought me a great sense of pride and identity.’
Updates on when the market is open during term can be found on the Oasis Facebook page.
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