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Basic needs

18 August 2023

Having your basic needs met is critical for functioning at your best. Check out these tips, resources, and services to help you meet your basic needs.



A well-balanced diet – one that includes plenty of fruit and vegetables, and limits things like saturated fats and excessive sugar intake – is a key part of helping secure health and wellbeing. 

To cope well with stress, for example, your goal should be to increase intake of plant food and food high in nutrient density while getting adequate levels of protein, fats and carbs. Fish is a great source of protein and essential fatty acids which are vital for brain function. 

The simplest way to get your essential nutrients is to ensure that you eat different types and colours of food: be sure to eat your 'greens, reds, purples and oranges'. 

UC has its very own Community Gardens, and did you know that you can find apricot, blueberries, pears, feijoa and Chilean guava growing around the campus? Here's an interactive map of where you can find all the different things grown to eat here. 

Foodbank services can help if you need assistance with food. Aside from the foodbank run by the UCSA, you can find a list of foodbanks in Christchurch via



There are some great organisations out there that provide clothing either for free or at a discounted price. Op shops are a great way to find a bargain on clothing, and there a variety to choose from in Christchurch:

If you’re interested in joining a student club focused around op-shopping, good deals and fun times, check out OpSoc.



Having a home that is warm in winter and cool in summer makes a significant contribution to keeping healthy and well all year round. There are some great organisations and resources out in the community to help you find the right house for you.

  • Community Energy Action – Provides support and advice around insulation, ventilation, heating and assessments on how to save energy.
  • Curtain Bank – Provides free curtains as well as installation.
  • The Salvation Army and Red Cross can provide free curtains and blankets.
  • Tenancy Services – Provide support if you are experiencing difficulties with a tenant or landlord.
  • Studylink can provide assistance for urgent or unexpected costs or if you need support with housing.


In Person Support on Campus:

The Advocacy and Welfare Team at the UCSA are available to support students through their services, such as the Foodbank and financial harship support (eligiblity criteria apply). The Student Care Team can also advise on any of the above matters.


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