Record numbers of South Australians are seeking help to feed themselves and their families. In cases where people have lost their jobs and are not eligible for JobKeeper or JobSeeker, many are reaching out for the first time – a large number of these are international students.
With many students losing their jobs in hospitality or other sectors hit by COVID-19 restrictions, these young people are struggling to pay their bills and are at risk of homelessness if they cannot pay their rent.
On Thursday 16 July, we received 560 food parcels from the Department of Human Services SA to distribute to international students and as you can see from the photos, hundreds joined the queue. By the end of the day all the hampers had been distributed and we provided an additional 40 food packs from our Community Food Hub.
The following day an additional 300 students came to us for assistance. We provided what we could free of charge from our Community Food Hub.
In recent months our Inner City team has partnered with student accommodation hubs in Adelaide to give out food vouchers to help hungry students put food back on the table.
A survey of 52 international students who shopped at our Community Food Hub in June/July, 87% reported a level of food insecurity with 27% of respondents reporting scores of 8 to 10 – indicating that they are living with extreme food insecurity.
Furthermore, as a result of COVID-19, 33% of respondents were accessing the Food Hub for the first time due to losing their casual jobs and 29% did so because their families could no longer support them after a decrease in income.
We thank our amazing Emergency Relief and Community Food Hub teams for going above and beyond in serving our community – we are extremely grateful for your hard work and compassion.
We are asking the South Australian community to rally around these students who are far from home and let them know they are welcome and we care about them.
If you or someone you know would like to support, please DONATE NOW and select ‘Westcare Food’ from the dropdown menu – this will enable us to continue to provide food parcels to international students. Every dollar makes a difference.