The plight of International students stranded by the pandemic has made headline news with many losing their jobs and unable to afford food, access financial help or return home.

FareShare has nourished this vulnerable group with an incredible 292,000 meals thanks to the enormous efforts of our chefs, generosity of supporters and collaboration with food rescue partners.

The free meals have been a lifesaver for some. Last week FareShare started supporting the Brazilian Community in Melbourne which gives out free meals from a Fitzroy church.

Angela Valansi, herself a chef, who volunteers for the group said, “Most of those students are eating only what we provide every week. They have no job and no financial help from their families as the pandemic crisis affected their families as well.”

(Left, happy international students Mariana and Lucas collect their FareShare meals from St Brigid’s Church in Nicholson Street on Tuesday. )

”The FareShare meals have been greatly appreciated. “They were so happy. It’s warmed their hearts – they feel loved,” said Angela.

FareShare has fed overseas students from Melbourne, Monash and CQ universities and Holmesglen TAFE. We also provides meals to other organisations supporting students in crisis, such as Empower which has set up five food relief centres in Victoria to cope with a “tenfold increase” in need.

One student receiving free meals from the Marjorie McGregor Relief program in Richmond had a simple message, “Thank you so much. You have saved my life.”

Meanwhile our Brisbane kitchen has also made a subtantial contribution to nourishing international students providing up to 20,000 free meals a week for those caught up in the crisis in Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba and Gold Coast.

The extra meals cooked for international students has been made possible with food donations from Woolworths and close collaboration with Brisbane Marketing, Foodbank and SecondBite.