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Food relief for international students

Study Gold Coast | June 2020

The need for support within our international student community has never been more keenly felt than during the COVID-19 crisis.

When an international student steps into the unknown by relocating to a new country they leave behind their established support networks of family and friends and in doing so develop greater independence. Yet nothing could have prepared them for a global pandemic that would test their resilience like never before.

As Australians moved into the uncharted waters of a national lockdown and self-isolation earlier this year our international students did so with an even greater sense of uncertainty. Yet the situation proved to be a galvanising experience for many of them as their fellow students, education providers and the wider Gold Coast community reached out with offers of help. Remarkably there were also stories of international students helping other vulnerable members of their local communities like the elderly, as well as stepping up to volunteer with charities and on food drives.

Citywide Initiatives

One of the city’s food drive initiatives was instigated by Study Gold Coast in association with Study Queensland, with 200 grocery packs of essential items being made available each week to the city’s international students through the Gold Coast Student Hub.

Study Gold Coast has also partnered with Fareshare, Foodbank Queensland and Study Brisbane to enlist qualified chefs to prepare frozen meals to help feed our international students during this time. To date over 20,000 meals have been prepared and are delivered in two ways: via education and training institutions across the coast with students collecting the meals directly on campus; and to students when they pick up their grocery packs at the Gold Coast Student Hub.

Increased Demand

Study Gold Coast CEO Alfred Slogrove says it’s been a remarkable effort from all involved to launch these programs:

“The Gold Coast education and training sector has done an amazing job looking after its students but with so many struggling at present this is a much-needed initiative. The COVID-19 crisis has seen an increased demand for student support services, particularly from our international students, who are ineligible for financial assistance from the Federal Government and these meals and groceries will go a long way to help alleviate the current burden for them.”

The grocery and frozen meal drops have been most welcome by the international student community with registrations filling fast each week. Meals cover a wide range of tastes including vegetarian options and students have been unanimous in their praise for the food relief initiatives. Study Gold Coast will continue to work with its members and partners to run both food programs as long as possible. Students can register to receive groceries and frozen meals at https://www.goldcoaststudenthub.com/support/

This article was originally published on Study Gold Coast as Food relief for international students.

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