StudyPerth has partnered with Western Australia food ambassador, Don Hancey and chef, Sophie Budd to create the International Student Meals Program, an initiative to provide meals to international students who have been affected by the pandemic.
“If we value and support our international students…we can ensure that the international education sector in WA remains strong”
There were more than 50,000 international students enrolled in Western Australia at the end of 2019, and at the end of May over 28,000 were still studying onshore.
“Covid-19 has created challenges for us all, but international students find themselves in a particularly vulnerable situation,” noted Study Perth.
“Many of these students have worked casually and paid tax, but have lost work and/or are now unable to find work and are often without solid support networks and family in the country.”
The program will see international student chefs prepare 250 healthy meals weekly at The Kitchens in Balcatta under the expert guidance of Hancey and Budd, which will be delivered to pick-up points ready for student collection.
Produce used in the program is 100% WA grown and sourced to support local businesses, and recipes are included with the meals to encourage students to enhance their skills in the kitchen.
“This program doesn’t just support students but also showcases Perth as a first-choice destination for studying commercial cookery,” said Angela Beechey, senior manager at StudyPerth.
“If we value and support our international students when they are most in need, we can ensure that the international education sector in WA remains strong and can drive prosperity and jobs growth, as restrictions are lifted and the global economy begins to recover.
“International students have an important contribution to make in the hospitality sector: a recent StudyPerth survey suggests that most students are not looking for a handout, but seek assistance in finding paid employment.
Beechey added that the program will be integral to getting the student chefs back working in restaurant kitchens.
The International Student Meals program is StudyPerth’s second support platform for international students affected by Covid-19, with the StudyPerth Crisis Relief program assisting international students who are in immediate, emergency need of food or shelter.