CANBERRA, AAP – Charities are demanding publicly funded food hampers and emergency relief for millions of people in coronavirus lockdowns.

They also want volunteers prioritised in the vaccine rollout and looser visa restrictions for international students struggling to survive.

Victoria and South Australia are preparing to exit lockdowns but there is no end in sight for people in Sydney.

Against this backdrop of soaring case numbers and indefinite restrictions, a self-described Charities Crisis Cabinet has penned an open letter to Scott Morrison.

Co-chairs Tim Costello and Susan Pascoe urged the prime minister to implement a six-point plan:

* Provide Commonwealth-funded food support and emergency relief to people in need

* Ensure volunteers are included in vaccine rollout planning

* Remove visa restrictions for international students working for charities

* Reintroduce coronavirus supplement payments for welfare recipients in lockdown

* Support internet access for marginalised communities so they can connect with services

* Give charities more flexibility in fundraising regulations

“As you frame policies in critical areas including vaccine roll out and beyond, charities are keen and ready to be included in policy discussions and to contribute to the development and design of new initiatives,” they wrote.

“Charities and not-for-profits want to be part of the solution, part of rebuilding our communities and boosting our economy.”