THE Sugar Festival Committee has assisted more than 17,000 students over the past five years.
As part of its charity fund, the annual festival has managed to provide scholarships worth $35,000 to the students.
Festival committee president Brijesh Chandra said their assistance program had spread over the years since the festival began in the Sugar City.
Mr Chandra said apart from the scholarships, they also funded medical trips for underprivileged families.
"So you can see why a charity fund is not only for our festival but also benefits other festivals across the country," he said.
"From the money that we raise, we also help supply building materials for houses that were damaged in fires.
"We do cash donations to various needy people and organisations."
He said school stationery including computers had also been given to schools through their charity trust.
This year, the festival hopes to raise more than $20,000.
Showing their support for the festival and its philanthropic work, the Lautoka Chamber of Commerce and Industry believes the festival has been a great vehicle in providing aid to underprivileged families.
"We back their efforts and their work," said LCCI administrator Mohammed Salim.
"The festival has been long associated with Lautoka City and it is only fitting that it is used to help the people of this city."
He urged businesses and the people of Lautoka to come out in numbers to support the week-long festival.