Students saving the city, one lunchbox at a time

Written by Munashe Shiri

Two Birds One Scone (TBOS) are spreading their wings to Monash University, extending their initiative of redistributing unwanted food to students in need and the homeless.

This Thursday, the new elected members taking the positions of Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary and Team Leader for the Monash Clayton campus will be announced in their Annual General Committee Meeting.

Both universities will unite and plan what they aim to do in this upcoming year on both campuses. The vice-president of Two Birds One Scone La Trobe, Daniel Vlahek, told the Melbourne Tribune that the main goal is to have this initiative in every Australian university.

"Monash will be our first example to see whether it can be successful beyond this [La Trobe] university," he said.

The new division is being launched at Monash Clayton in response to the high number of food vendors on campus. The Clayton campus holds more than 30 food vendors.

The student-run initiative which began at La Trobe university works to fight food wastage within Melbourne. Students are collecting food from cafes and restaurants located on campus that would otherwise be thrown out. The food is then redistributed to homeless shelters in the northern Melbourne suburbs and to university students in need.

The Vice President standing with the La Trobe donations fridge. Photo Credit: Munashe

Research made by Professor Sophie Arkoudis from the University of Melbourne, reported that one in four international students face financial hardship. The extent of this difficulty has forced some students to forage for food in bins in act called dumpster diving.

The majority of the emails and phone calls received at the Two Birds One Scone headquarters are said to be from international students, according to Mr.Vlahek.

"Students are doing it tough, especially all the international students. It honestly breaks my heart whenever I hear their struggles. They have huge fees to deal with while facing struggles like buying groceries on low incomes on top of that."

Frontyard Youth Services is a welfare service that understands the impact donations have on the struggling youth in Melbourne as they help those in need aged 12 – 25. One of their youth workers, Catherine Owens, told the Melbourne Tribune how the donations provided from organisations like Two Birds One Scone positively-impact the homeless youth in Melbourne.

“These kids don't have every meal guaranteed so it really makes all the difference in their lives,” she said.

Infographic showing the food wastage problem in Australia. Credit: Munashe

Upcoming events from Two Birds One Scone are being discussed to further educate and inform the public about food wastage. A second-hand clothing stall will occur this Thursday in the Agora at La Trobe University to fund the growth of the club.

To join the cause and become a volunteer, contact Two Birds One Scone through their Facebook page or send an email to