The Rotary Club of Corrimal is among six organisations grateful for community support in helping many international students in need through winter.
Every week donations are made to the initiative involving Turbans 4 Australia who cook a lot of food, Shining Stars, International Christian Church, Indian Australian Cultural Association, Rotary, the Rotaract Club at the University of Wollongong and some uni staff.
Many students have found themselves in a difficult situation since the arrival of COVID-19 and the initiative has helped keep many fed and warm.
Rotarian Ruth Milne said since the lockdown students from some countries such as India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have been unable to obtain money for their families and themselves.
Mrs Milne said if Jobseeker ends in the next couple of months she expects the need will grow to many local students also needing help.
"The support has been fantastic," Mrs Milne said.
"This wasn't our initiative but when our Rotary club heard about it we got involved".
Mrs Milne said the donations were helping up to 300 people every Saturday and up to 200 on the others days.
She said the need was great which is why the volunteers involved are so keen to keep providing food, warm clothing and blankets to anyone who needs it. And do it for as long as is needed.
Prior to the school holidays meals were prepared on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Saturday morning distributions have continued during the uni break with a large area being set up for donated fruit and vegetables, clothing, toiletries and other donations.
Mrs Milne said on the weekend students were able to collect from a huge amount of donated fresh fruit and vegetables, prepared meals, groceries and toiletries laid out on tables in front of the main hall.
She said the idea was to enable them to collect ingredients for several meals, not just lunch for that day. And many students left with big smiles on their faces.
Mrs Milne said the response from a previous story in the Illawarra Mercury involving Illawarra politicians was amazing.
She said donations had come from everywhere including individuals and businesses such as Leisure Coast Fruit Market and Deli, Woolworths and Kmart.
There have also been many offers from people wanting to help cook meals and provide transport.
"Some members of The Rotary Club of Corrimal are very involved with the food preparation and they are working with Turbans 4 Australia in food preparation," Mrs Milne said.
A number of volunteers involved in the initiative are also travelling to three locations in Sydney to distribute donations to UOW students living there.
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