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USC provides free meals to students in need

Posted: 9am 19 May 2020

Students at USC Moreton Bay and USC Caboolture doing it tough now have access to free, ready-made, nutritious meals to help them focus on their studies.

The University has made meals available to domestic and international students at six campuses from Fraser Coast to Brisbane – in partnership with Study Sunshine Coast, Study Brisbane, Urban Angels Community Kitchen, and Foodbank Australia’s FareShare program.

The meals include roast pork and vegetables, fried rice, large curries and spaghetti bolognese and cater for all dietary requirements including vegan and gluten-free.

USC Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students) Professor Denise Wood AM says many students are struggling to make ends meet.

“This will make a huge difference to students, particularly single parents who know they have a nutritious meal they can just warm up and not have to put too much effort into, meaning they can continue to focus on their studies,” Professor Wood says.

“They are able to visit their local campus, fill their bags with high-quality, nourishing meals and take them home, knowing that the service will continue at least until their exams in June. It takes away the stress of wondering where the next meal is going to come from.”

How it’s all come together

Distribution and funding at USC has been organised by USC Student Wellbeing, the USC Student Guild and the USC Student Senate, and has been paid for by the senate and the Vice-Chancellor’s emergency fund.

The delivery of ready-made meals for international students is being arranged by two organisations – Brisbane Marketing’s Study Brisbane and Study Sunshine Coast – and cooked by FareShare using fresh ingredients donated by Woolworths and Foodbank Queensland.

Professor Wood says USC has been able to extend the free meals to domestic students through their existing relationship with Urban Angels Community Kitchen and OZHarvest. This is a separate partnership through which USC has been providing an increasing number of meals and fresh produce to students for nearly eight weeks.

Asking for help

Students wanting meals can contact the USC Student Guild Welfare and Advocacy Office WelfareStudentGuild@usc.edu.au for collection details.

Last week, USC also provided more than 1,360 of its students with emergency bursaries of up to $1,000 each to offset some of the difficulties they’ve faced during the coronavirus lockdown, totalling almost $1.1 million.

The university is also offering free telehealth services to the broader community. For details, head to our blog.

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