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HYY: Rid of breadlines by improving basic benefits


The Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY) is concerned about the intentions to drive away the food and clothing distribution point of Veikko and Lahja Hursti's Charitable Association from Helsinginkatu street in Kallio district. HYY believes that evicting the breadline will lead a discussion on solutions to a wrong direction. In HYY's opinion, society must vigorously address the causes of poverty by developing basic benefits. ”Hursti is doing valuable work. As long as we need breadlines, we should not complicate the provision of aid or access to aid by moving the distribution to a remote location”, says Chairperson of HYY Board Leena Pihlajamäki.

HYY does not approve that those queuing for bread are labelled as troublemakers. For many students, poverty is daily life and they have to resort to the aid of Hursti's association because of insufficient income. Hursti also organises food distribution to students once a month, where approximately hundred students visit. The Student Union thinks that residents' requirements for the eviction of the breadline in Kallio, renowned for its tolerance, reflect the hardening of values. According to Executive Director Heikki Hursti, there is very little disruption on the breadline. 

Hiding away the problems is not the solution. HYY requires that the forms of assistance are unified and basic benefits are developed into the direction of an unconditional basic income adequate to live on. Basic income would create security and encourage citizens to work in economic fluctuations and when atypical employments become more common. ”The income gap is significantly increasing in Finland. In society, there is an increasing number of people who cannot afford to buy food. Why do we just want to sweep problems under the carpet instead of focusing on solving them?” asks Pihlajamäki.




Leena Pihlajamäki

Chairperson of the Board 


Further information:

Silva Loikkanen, Board Member 

silva.loikkanen(at) (050 576 5073)