Hamper rollout for international students

·1-min read

International students in NSW struggling to get by during the COVID-19 pandemic have been thrown a lifeline, with thousands of emergency food hampers issued since the Christmas period.

The NSW government and charity Foodbank organised the program, which will send 62,500 food hampers out to international students.

Each hamper is valued at $80 and includes instant meals, coffee and pantry staples such as cereal, long-life milk, rice and sauces.

The first hampers were issued before Christmas 2020.

The NSW government said on Wednesday that 40 per cent of charities had since the start of the pandemic reported a rise in the number of international students seeking help.

"International education is a crucial sector for our state and our international students contribute so much to NSW metro and regional communities through volunteering and employment, sharing skills and talent, building research links, and fostering innovation and entrepreneurialism," NSW Treasury's Jenny West said in a statement.

The hamper program follows a $100,000 program for international student food hampers in August and a broader $20 million package for international students in May.

Student Siddhant Acharya, who arrived from India to study a Master of Media and Communication at Sydney's Macquarie University, said the hampers helped foster a sense of solidarity.

"The hampers have been a lifeline for the international student community and benefited thousands of my peers," Mr Acharya said in a statement.