Foodbank, Australia’s largest food relief organisation has recently released a shocking report that outlines the extent of food insecurity across the nation.
The alarming figures show that 1 in 6 Australians have reported not having enough food to make-do in the last 12 months. Out of these groups, 28 per cent are regularly made to go without food.
Those going without food on a regular basis are not exactly who you would expect. The report highlighted that those suffering from regular food insecurity are a diverse group and not necessarily living on the streets. They are male, female, both young and old, single, and in families, employed and unemployed, and regularly, retired.
The report also uncovered that members of Gen Y are almost twice as likely to experience food insecurity than the average person.
Foodbank CEO Geoff Starr said that sadly, that charities are unable to meet demand when it comes to people seeking assistance.
“Our report brings to light the fact that charities cannot cope with the increasing numbers of people in distress. Over 43,000 people seeking food relief each month have to be turned away empty handed due to lack of food and resources,” Starr says.
“It’s not taking much to tip some people into food insecurity. The most common reasons why people experience hunger are generally low income, unexpected expenses and large bills or just paying for the roof over their heads.”
Of course hunger is not the only issue that these people face. It is a well known fact that experiencing hunger or food insecurity can have both short and long-term effects on people’s wellbeing. Their physical, emotional and psychological health can suffer as a result of food insecurity and lead to greater issues that can impact them for the rest of their lives.
“In Australia we subscribe to the belief of a fair go for all and, at Foodbank, we think that means everyone having enough to eat. It’s time to put the growing hunger problem on the national agenda. We’re calling on all Australians to join us and commit to the fight against hunger.”
For more information or to find out how you can help, visit the Foodbank website here.