Food insecurity grows due to cost-of-living crisis

3.7 million households experienced food insecurity in Australia in the past year, according to the Foodbank Hunger Report 2023, released today.

The report, now in its 12th year, uncovered that 23% of Queensland households are actively going hungry, reducing their food intake, skipping meals or going entire days without eating. That’s 1 in 5 Queensland households – double the number of households in the Gold Coast.

Foodbank Queensland says the research highlights one glaringly obvious cause why so many households are experiencing food insecurity: the cost-of-living crisis.

The report confirms the face of hunger is changing. Over half of the households in Queensland experiencing food insecurity have someone in paid work (55%). Regional Queensland has been hit hardest, with rising food and grocery costs impacting 80% of food-insecure households in regional and remote communities.

More than 1 in 3 Queensland households who need help, aren’t seeking help, because they are either too embarrassed to reach out or believe others must be in greater need of assistance. Foodbank Queensland CEO, Jess Watkinson, says the cost of the most basic of rights – food and shelter, is now the most common cause of food insecurity in Australia.

“The number one reason households in Australia struggle to meet their food needs is the cost-of-living crisis. We have all felt the impact of increased mortgage repayments and rent, and rising food, fuel, and home energy costs.”

“We know that our country produces enough food to feed our population three times over – and Queensland provides one third of that produce. We must do better to ensure nutritious, culturally appropriate food reaches the dinner tables of everyone in our state.”

Foodbank Queensland is collaborating with other key members of the food relief sector in Queensland and advocating to the Queensland Government to use the Foodbank Hunger Report 2023 as a reference point to work with the sector to ensure that all Queenslanders have access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round.