Free Breakfast is Back to Five Days a Week

Free Breakfast is Back to Five Days a Week

Paying for your brekkie, in this economy?

For those of you bold enough to wake up before 9:30 (we get it, you’re better than us), OUSA Clubs and Socs have recently announced the extension of their renowned free breakfast programme to five days a week. The breakfast is open from 8:30-9:30am.

Located in the Evision lounge, all Polytech and Uni students need to do is present their student ID number to secure the breakfast goodies. Porridge, cereal, toast, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate make up the spread (dairy and gluten-free breathas are sorted as well). For those concerned about non-dairy milks, they have oat, soy, and almond milk on offer. 

Radio One’s breakfast show plays over the speakers, and Bronwyn (the mother duck of free breakfast) is usually game for a chat, creating a vibe that even the most pretentious brunch cafés would be jealous of.

The free breakfast programme was cut down to one day a week in 2023 after Covid recovery funds provided by the government eventually ceased. Prior to this, the event had run every weekday since its inception, and now it’s back! Jamie Leckie, the manager for OUSA Clubs, Socs and Rec, told Critic Te Ārohi he “hounded” the higher ups at OUSA with fierce student support to get increased funding for the year. 

Jamie said that “free breakfast is fuel to the mind to start the day.” It’s about helping students reduce the cost of living associated with food, and set that positive mental health aspect of “having good morning patterns, getting up, eating breakfast, and getting on campus early.” Students at free breakfasts also agreed with this kaupapa, sending feedback such as “the free breakfast gave a reason to get up in the morning and get onto campus early,” and that "the free breakfast was a positive social experience.”

“I personally feel that positive mental wellbeing is so very important,” said Jamie. “In the hectic and high cost of living society we live in, if we can help each other out along the way, then it ticks so many positive boxes for wellbeing.” 

The more people who attend free breakfast, the more likely it is that Clubs and Socs will have the capacity to keep their funding in the future. It has been running in some form since 2014, but the timing and funding year to year has been in constant flux.

Currently about 50-70 students rock up for some kai each morning, though this number increases significantly during the exam period. Free breakfast is saying that it’s time for a mental wellness era.

This article first appeared in Issue 4, 2024.
Posted 5:46pm Sunday 17th March 2024 by Gryffin Powell.