The 2018 Foodbank Hunger Report revealed that 4 million Australians (18%) have experienced food insecurity in the past 12 months.
The report also exposes a growing problem in country areas, where during the past 12 months, 1.5 million Australians have experienced the uncertainty of not knowing where their next meal will come from. This means people living in regional and remote areas are 33% more likely to experience food insecurity than those living in the city.
The 2018 Foodbank Hunger Report, now in its sixth year, surveys charities and food relief recipients nationwide to determine who accesses assistance, why they seek assistance and how they can be better helped.
“Tackling the big problem of hunger in the country is an urgent issue that can’t be ignored. Australians living in regional and remote areas are more likely to experience food insecurity than those living in cities”, said Greg Hebble CEO, Foodbank WA
“The report shows that vulnerable families in regional and remote areas find it harder to access food and when they run out and are unable to afford to buy more, they are more likely to feel embarrassed and unable to talk to friends and family about their situation.”
Further commenting on the report’s findings, Greg Hebble noted that, despite Foodbank WA providing food for over half a million meals every month, only 36% of charities believe they are currently meeting the full needs of the people they assist, which is alarming given that only half (52%) of those experiencing food insecurity seek assistance from a charity.
In 2017/2018, Foodbank WA provided 6.1 million meals to people in need. 57% of food was distributed to people living in regional Western Australia via Foodbank WA’s regional distribution centres located in Albany, Bunbury, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie and Peel.
“How many Australians need to be going hungry before we see action? We urgently need more support from government, corporates, philanthropists and community to meet the growing need for hunger relief.” Hebble asked.
“We need a bi-partisan, whole-of-government plan to tackle this crisis. With a Federal election just around the corner, our political leaders have an ideal opportunity to commit to introducing a Food Security Strategy to ensure there are big solutions to what is clearly a big problem for our nation,” he concluded.
The public can help Foodbank tackle this by joining the growing movement on social media using the hashtags #BigProblem and #ZeroHunger, donating at Foodbankwa.org.au or asking their local Member of State Parliament what they are doing to address food insecurity in Australia.