Are there really hungry people in Australia?
Yes there are, but hunger is largely a hidden social problem and many victims suffer in silence. Each year two million people rely on food relief – around half of them are children. That’s one in every ten Australians in need.
Despite almost two decades of economic growth nearly a quarter of Australians still live in low economic resource households and 10% live in actual poverty. The prices of essentials like food, health, education, housing, utilities and transport have climbed so much in recent years that people who are already struggling are susceptible to sudden bill shock and financial disadvantage.The current economic climate means people are turning to charity who would never have dreamed of seeking such support in the past. So it’s not just traditionally vulnerable groups such as the homeless seeking food relief, but also the aged, single parents and the working poor.
Children, a casual worker or an elderly couple could be going hungry in any given street. When bills have to be paid, food becomes a discretionary item.
Some statistics about the unlucky people in our lucky country:
1 in 4
Charities, which only exist to meet a need, are experiencing an alarming increase in demand.In the last twelve months Foodbank has experienced an 11% increase in community groups seeking food assistance. Many charities are reporting that they have to turn people away due to lack of resources.
The Salvation Army – Perceptions of Poverty: An Insight into the Nature and Impact of Poverty in Australia 2010, p.36