Victoria announces $30 million support package targeted at residents hit by COVID lockdowns.

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 The Victorian Government has announced a $30 million support package to help assist residents who were locked out of work get by during the state’s COVID-19 lockdown.

Disability, Ageing and Carers Minister Luke Donnellan said the package would be targeted to areas of the community who need it most.

“(The package) is to make sure no one will be left behind to ensure people have access to food, emergency hardship payments and the like,” he said.

“Specifically, $4.5 million will be allocated for emergency food relief, whether it be for food banks, student supermarkets, food bank outreach service, for areas like Monash, LaTrobe and other areas where there is a large cohort of international students who are very much struggling.

“We will also provide grants to meet regional and metropolitan food hubs which we set up.”

Additionally, the government has extended its emergency hardship support payment through to October, which assists people on temporary or provisional visas who have no access to income from the Commonwealth.

Mr Donnellan said interested people and families can ring the Red Cross on 1800 855 240 to enquire about access to $800 emergency hardship programs.

The economic assistance for food relief programs is designed to feed vulnerable members of the community, and those who may have never needed the program before.

“In other circumstances, they might not have a need for food relief but during this particular time, there are new people arriving at our emergency food relief agencies have never been there before and it just highlights how difficult it is,” Mr Donnellan said.

“We are doing this work to ensure the whole community can be supported through this difficult period of time.”

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