The SU Exchange has reopened!


SOLENT Students’ Union’s SU Exchange, the largest and most used student community pantry in the south of England, has reopened for the new academic year.  

The cost-of-living crisis has put students at a greater risk of uncertainty and presents a serious issue to students’ mental and overall wellbeing. 

It was reported by Solent Students’ Union (Solent SU) that over 90% of Solent students surveyed about the rising costs have struggled with financial difficultly, with over half stating they are currently in severe difficulty. Food was cited as one of the most significant cost pressures for students. 

To help with the financial impact a number of Solent University students are facing, Solent SU launched the SU Exchange, a community pantry, in November 2022. 

The SU Exchange is stocked with a wide range of basic living essentials, such as dry foods, tinned goods and toiletries for students to access. 

Almost 17,900 items were taken by Solent University students from the SU Exchange last academic year. The massive number of items helped over 500 individual students across almost 5000 individual visits. 

Jignesh Kiree, Vice President Wellbeing for Solent SU, said: “Solent SU wants to help our students through the cost-of-living crisis, so we are pleased that the SU Exchange has been a huge success this year. 

“There has been a lot of hard work dedicated by everyone involved in keeping our community pantry stocked, but we do struggle at times to ensure students get the daily items they need. 

“With a new cohort of students starting their university journey and living alone for the first time, we are calling for large and local businesses in Southampton to support our initiative by donating any items you have spare – from toiletries to dry food items, and anything in between to help support the new generation of learners. 

“Solent SU will continue to keep the SU Exchange open until the demand is no longer there. Many of our students are struggling with the difficult circumstances caused by the current crisis, but we will continue to put our students needs first and support them in any way we can through this tough time.” 

There is also a book exchange, free period products, free condoms, and a campaigns hub, available in the SU Exchange for students to access. 

If you are a Solent University student and in need of help this academic year, you can sign up for a membership by visiting the SU Exchange. 

The SU Exchange is open Monday to Friday from 11am until 4pm, from the 2nd October.  Students can take up to five individual items per week. Memberships are £5 for each semester and can be purchased in the SU Exchange. 

Notes to Editor: 

  • Data within this press release was collected in-house by Solent Students’ Union. 

  • The SU Exchange insights are collected directly in-house from the SU Exchange server. 

  • Solent University student data outlined in the press release has been taken from the Student Life Survey 2022/23 report, which evaluates the data collected from over 800 Solent University students throughout the academic year. The full report can be found here. 

  • The SU Exchange is a community pantry/food bank dedicated to help Solent University students only.