It was a pleasure teaming up with Foodbank Australia, to conduct new research into the hidden problem of food insecurity in Australia.
What is food insecurity?
Food insecurity can be defined as “a situation that exists when people lack secure access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food for normal growth and development and an active and healthy life” – Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.
Despite our reputation as the “lucky country”, the issue of hunger exists in Australia but is largely unnoticed
The reality is that 3.6 million Australians (15%) have experienced food insecurity at least once in the last 12 months. Three in five of these individuals experience food insecurity at least once a month.
Food insecurity impacts a wide range of groups in the community, and is not restricted to the unemployed or homeless. In fact, almost half of food insecure Australians (48%) are employed in some way, whether full-time, part-time or casually.
Our youngest members of the community are also impacted, as dependent children live in 40% of food insecure households.
The study shows how easy it is for someone to fall into food insecurity, given the rising cost of living
Financial pressures can create difficult choices, such as choosing between heating and eating. Two in five food insecure Australians (41%) have not paid bills in order to have enough money to buy food.
The experience of food insecurity is incredibly challenging and can cause a significant decline in quality of life for individuals and families. Skipping meals in these instances is quite common, and 28% of food insecure Australians report going for an entire day without eating in times where they have run out of food.