VU has partnered with SecondBite to provide students with free, healthy frozen meals to eat at home.

Find out about the program and where and when you can collect meals.

Foodbank pop-up opening times

The Free Meals for VU Students foodbank is currently operating during the following times:

  • Wednesdays: 12.30pm-4.30pm

About the program

To support our students, Victoria University has partnered with SecondBite, a local not-for-profit organisation, to provide free healthy frozen meals to eat at home.

SecondBite is a leading national food rescue organisation that works with a range of food suppliers to rescue surplus fresh food from across the network, and redistributes it to local charities and non-profits around Australia. These groups run food programs to support people in need in their communities.

With latest figures revealing that more than 5 million people in Australia experience food insecurity at least once in the course of a year, SecondBite exists to make sure that good food is getting to people who need it most, rather than to landfill.

VU is thrilled to partner with SecondBite to provide meals to our students while pursuing our commitment to Planetary Health:

In all that we do in our research, our teaching, on our campuses and in our communities, we work to improve the health and wellbeing of our local and global communities, and the planet that we share.

About the meals

The frozen meals prepared by SecondBite come in either 1kg packs (providing 3-4 standard servings) or 250g packs, which provide a single serve meal.

As the meals are prepared based on ingredients available to SecondBite at the time, there is no set menu or option to order specific meals. As such, stock availability will vary and there is no guarantee a particular option will be available on collection.

Meal options are limited to vegetarian or non-vegetarian (containing meat), and availability is limited to the options delivered by SecondBite each week.

A variety of meals are available in conveniently packaged portions.

Chicken, bean and cheese burrito - an example of the delicious meals available.

Where & when to collect meals

The frozen meal packs will be available for you to collect from Footscray Nicholson Campus - no registration required.

Meals will be available for collection during the following times each week:

  • Wednesdays, 12.30pm-4.30pm

Meals can be collected at the Nicholson Street outdoor courtyard (between buildings T and N).

Look out for the blue Student Life tent and friendly VU Vollies.

Frequently asked questions

Yes, only current VU students are eligible to receive free meal packs.

You will be asked to show your Student ID to collect meals.

Student ID cards are now available via the VU App.

The pick-up location is Footscray Nicholson campus, outdoor courtyard between buildings T and N (look out for the blue Student Life tent and friendly VU Vollies).

Find out more about getting there.

If you do not wish to travel to pick up a meal through Victoria University's free meal packs program, there may be some alternative food relief and community support programs available to you.

Listed below are some examples of such programs. As they are not directly affiliated to the University, we recommend that you contact the program or service directly, to make sure you are eligible to receive support.

VU Sydney students

For food assistance in New South Wales, visit food assistance Study NSW.

Unfortunately, we can't guarantee that dietary requirements can be catered to.

As the meals prepared by SecondBite are based on the ingredients they have available, unfortunately we are unable to arrange orders to meet dietary requirements. The supply of vegetarian and vegan meals is also unpredictable and limited.

Yes. You must bring your Student ID (digital ID or physical card) and a bag to carry your meal packs home. To help your meal packs stay frozen, we recommend you bring an insulated bag.

You also need to bring a smartphone. When on-campus, please make sure to follow our COVID safe guidelines and check-in to your location using the VU App.
 

Text on screen:

Step 1: Download and open the Victoria University App.

Step 2: Check-in when you are on campus. The app will detect your current campus using location services.

Step 3: Select your building.

Step 4: Select your floor and room number.

Step 5: Confirm your location and check-in. Favourite your regular locations.

You're checked in!

Favourite locations are available when you check-in.

Visit your profile to view your most recent check-in.

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This is a program for current VU students, you must pick up your own meals.

If you are unwell and cannot come to Footscray Nicolson campus, you need to advise us by emailing [email protected] and nominate someone else to pick up on your behalf.

The number of meals available per person will depend on demand. We receive a set number of meals, and will aim to provide at least five meal portions per week per person.

If we have more students attend than expected, we may not be able to provide this many. Alternatively with lesser demand, you may be able to take home more!

As there is no set menu or option to order specific meals, you won't know what you’re getting until you arrive at the pick-up location.

Previous meals have included chicken burritos, Italian meatballs, mustard chicken casserole, mushroom and lentil stroganoff and tomato and lentil soup.

Absolutely. To ensure everyone's safety, you must follow all physical distancing measures that are in place.

Our friendly volunteers will be there to guide you.

When on-campus, please make sure to follow our COVID safe guidelines and check-in to your location using the VU App.

If you have any questions about Free Meals for VU Students program, please email [email protected].

Your wellbeing is important to us. There are a range of student support and wellbeing services available to students.

If you have any questions, find more answers on ASKVU, email us, speak to us via live chat or call us on +61 3 9919 6100.

The VU Student Support team can assist you with financial advice to help you manage your study expenses and living costs.

You can make a confidential appointment to talk to a Senior Advisor - Welfare, or use our handy resources and learn about your loan and scholarship options. You may also be eligible for a no interest loan.

You may also email [email protected] from your VU email account.

Make an appointment

VU Sydney students can request a counselling session with our Student Counsellor, Petrina Hennessey, by emailing us at [email protected].

Our Health Advisor is a registered nurse and midwife who provides advice, information and referrals about:

  • COVID-19 and vaccinations
  • general health and wellbeing
  • women's and men's health
  • family planning and sexual health
  • injury assistance
  • chronic illness
  • other health-related matters

Contact the Health Advisor:

Phone: +61 3 9919 4417
Email[email protected]

The Free Food for VU Students program is currently only available to VU Students located in Melbourne.

To find a program located near you, we recommend you check out food assistance programs in Sydney.

If you are in need of assistance due to the COVID-19 lockdown, support is available.

Please visit Study Sydney COVID-19 Help Hub or visit the following for more information.

If you are feeling the effects and need someone to talk to, you can request a counselling session with our Student Counsellor, Petrina Hennessey, by emailing us at [email protected]

Yes!

If you would like to join the team and assist with handing out free meals at the foodbank pop-up, please complete the online registration form to become a VU Vollie.

Once you have completed some basic training you will be able to sign up for volunteer shifts at the Free Meals foodbank.

Student feedback

Brodie

I absolutely love the idea behind the meals you guys are doing, especially for someone like myself, it has been very difficult to afford healthy meals during these lockdowns being out of work. This will make a big difference for many people! Thank you very much!

Tiffany 

I have enjoyed the food, and am very appreciative and grateful for the service being offered.

Mai

Thank you for the packed meals. The food is delicious. It saves me roughly $50 a week on groceries and cooking time.

Taro

I really appreciate the meals I am able to collect through this initiative, and they taste great too!

News and media

 VU student Luciano Freire picks up free food packs from VC Adam Shoemaker and Deputy VC (People and Organisation) Peter Radoll, accompanied by VU students Shiva Foroutan and Ashlie Thorburn

Contact us

To discuss the program further, please email us at [email protected]

If you have any other questions, find answers on ASKVU, or call us on +61 3 9919 6100.