A helping hand for students and regional communities

12 August 2020

The NSW Government is working with Foodbank NSW & ACT to provide thousands of emergency food hampers to international students across the State including regional locations like Armidale, Lismore and Wagga Wagga.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro and Treasurer Dominic Perrottet today visited the Foodbank NSW & ACT depot in Glendenning where 9,000 hampers are being prepared and dispatched.

Mr Barilaro said the $100,000 program is providing a helping hand to vulnerable students and their host communities. “International education is one of our key exports, supporting thousands of jobs in cities and towns across NSW,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Some international students stranded by the global pandemic are facing hardship through no fault of their own and we’re providing a range of assistance measures, including these hampers delivered to international students across the state.

“Foodbank’s statistics show people living in rural and regional areas are 33 per cent more likely have experienced food insecurity.”

The initiative is part of a broader NSW Government package being delivered by Study NSW to help international students and the education sector through COVID-19.

International students in NSW can access food hampers by following these steps:
1. Call Food Bank on (02) 9756 3099
2. State that you are an international student and your suburb, then ask for the distribution point closest to you
3. Have your student visa and student card with you when you collect the hamper

Measures include $20 million to fund temporary crisis accommodation with approved student accommodation or home stay providers, and additional resources for the International Student Legal Service NSW.

The Government has also provided a $750 million Loan Guarantee scheme for NSW universities and other measures including payroll tax exemptions. Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the NSW Government was committed to supporting communities through COVID-19 and maintaining the State’s track record as a leading global study destination.

“International students are valued members of our community and universities provide jobs, skilled graduates, research and innovation across NSW,” Mr Perrottet said.

“It’s vital we do what we can to support those in need in these challenging times.”

Foodbank NSW & ACT Chief Executive Officer Gerry Anderson said the initiative had already received an overwhelming response. “For the past 28 years FBNA been sourcing and delivering food for hungry Australians.

International students from universities, TAFE and private educational institutions have so far taken home more than 5,000 hampers of pantry staples home.” International students in need should contact Foodbank on 02 9735 3099 to find out where they can collect a hamper closest to them.

For more information on what COVID-19 support is available, call the Service NSW hotline (13 77 88) or visit the Service NSW website.

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