The latest Foodbank Hunger Report, released earlier this month, has found nearly half of Foodbank’s local charity partners need 34% more food to meet current demand.
The organisation’s national report showed food insecurity has become a rising issue nationally, with four million Australians experiencing food insecurity in the past 12 months.
The endemic problem has hit rural and regional Australia particularly hard.
Food insecurity has risen 3% since last year, and alarmingly 51% of food insecure Australians are employed in some way – either full-time, part-time, casually or self-employed.
In the last 12 months, 4 million Australians (18% of the population) have experienced the uncertainty of where their next meal will come from.
Findings showed that people living in regional and rural NSW are doing it particularly tough. Regional and remote Australians are 33% more likely to experience food insecurity than those living in the city, with 1.5 million regional and remote Australians going hungry in the last 12 months.
Foodbank NSW & ACT provided 708,201 meals to the ACT in the past 12 months, and currently support 30 Canberra-based charities.
Foodbank NSW & ACT CEO Gerry Andersen said the statistics are a reminder of the ongoing issues facing those in living in NSW and the ACT, particularly communities in regional areas affected by drought.
“Unfortunately, this level of food insecurity is only further exacerbated by the drought, meaning our vulnerable families in the country are under enormous strain.
“In good seasons, farmers are amongst our most generous donors of food to people in need across the state,” he said.
The Foodbank Hunger Report 2018 also reveals many Australians experiencing food insecurity are forced to either cut down on the size of their meals (56%) or skip a meal (54%) at least once a week to make their food last longer.
“We’re determined to do all we can to end hunger in Australia, ensuring no Aussie child, family or individual is left with the uncertainty and stress of sourcing their next meal,” Andersen said.
Visit foodbanknsw.org.au for more information or to make a donation.