Many of our international students have lost work and are struggling to make ends meet due to the pandemic. Unable to return home and without nearby support, these are some of our most vulnerable residents.
We recently partnered with OzHarvest, giving out food hampers to more than 1,000 international students.
The pop-up hamper hubs at Redfern Town Hall and Harbourside Shopping Centre received an overwhelming response.
International students from local universities took home more than 1,250 hampers of pantry staples and 1,000 pre-cooked meals.
We remain focused on ensuring people have access to nutritious food during this unprecedented time.
This includes providing a $1m grant to OzHarvest to support vulnerable community members.
OzHarvest state manager NSW, Richard Watson said the hampers were a much-needed supplement to international students.
“It was incredible to see students from so many different countries, who were all extremely happy and grateful to receive the free food,” Richard said.
“Most have lost their jobs in the hospitality sector and what little funds they have just cover rent and bills.
“A huge thanks to City of Sydney for its support to get this initiative up and running and to Mirvac for donating the retail space. We hope to be able to run the pop-up hamper hubs for the next 6 weeks but will review the need on a regular basis.”
In 2017, there were 40,000 international students living and studying in Sydney. The international student sector contributed over $1.6 billion to the economy and created around 4,000 jobs locally.
We’re consulting with the sector to understand the challenges and risks facing the international students in our local area.
Other support includes coordinating a virtual international student welfare hub with StudyNSW, where students can access support and resources.
We provide online pivoting programs to support employability skills and mental health. And we provide Covid-19 community grants on projects relevant to students.
Students should contact their universities or educational institutions to register for the free food hampers.
Our hotline is open to provide information during this difficult time. Trained staff can advise on coronavirus issues, access to food, finance, isolation and personal wellbeing. Call 02 9265 9333 from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.