Demand for food relief continues to outpace supply around Australia, with more than 65,000 people turned away from charities each month because of insufficient food, according to Foodbank’s annual End Hunger in Australia Report, released today.
The report found family economic circumstances have become the main driver for people turning to food relief, with low income and single parent families the largest groups requiring assistance. Currently, more than 60% of charities provide assistance to low income families or single parent families.
The End Hunger in Australia Report for 2013, produced by Foodbank, Australia’s largest hunger relief organisation, is based on analysis by Deloitte Access Economics and reveals insights into rising problem of food insecurity in Australia. The report surveys charities and community groups from across the country and revealed that demand for food relief is growing and changing, challenging traditional stereotypes:
• More welfare agencies are providing food to low income families (70%) and single parent families (65%) than unemployed households (60%), and homeless people (33%).
• General low income and unexpected circumstances or events are the most common reason for those who seek out food relief.
• 80% of welfare agencies report not having enough food to meet total demand.
• 65% of people who rely on food relief do not receive all they require.
• 1 in 3 people seeking food welfare are children.
• Two thirds of charities are experiencing increased demand for food assistance.
• 4 in 5 charities believe that food helps staff to build trust to offer other services such as housing or education.
Enzo Allara, Chairman of Foodbank Australia said, “Hunger in Australia affects more people than many realise, and families are increasingly relying on food relief due to difficult economic times. For many Australians, it only takes one unexpected cost or event to tip the balance. Foodbank and charities around the country are working together to help these individuals and provide the food they need but the demand is increasing significantly faster than our supply.”
“Foodbank currently provides enough food for 88,000 meals a day, yet 80% of welfare agencies reported not having enough food to meet current demand. Our traditional model of collecting surplus food from manufacturers and retailers simply is no longer ample to meet the growing demand so we’re adopting new solutions including arranging the manufacture of key staple foods and partnering with farmers for more fresh produce.”
Foodbank’s End Hunger in Australia Report revealed food parcels are the most common type of food assistance required, making up more than 70% of food welfare. This directly correlates to the increase in low income or single parent families relying on food welfare, as these groups require access to staple ingredients to prepare meals. The most common types of food needed are cereals, fruit and vegetables, bread, meat and milk. Demand for staples and ‘long life’ food is significantly higher than any other food type.
Foodbank and food relief play a critical role in moving toward a longer term solution in assisting disadvantaged groups. For 72% of charities, food was a significant reason for people to seek out their services and for four in five agencies, food assistance helps staff to build trust and introduce individuals to further welfare services. Food is a fundamental need that brings people to ask for help from welfare agencies and community groups, and provide assistance in areas such as health, housing and employment
Foodbank Media Relations
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