Hunger Report reveals food insecurity in Victoria is on the rise
Foodbank’s latest Hunger Report reveals that women in Australia are 50% more likely to experience food insecurity than men. In fact, a quarter of all women have experienced food insecurity in some form in the past 12 months.
The Foodbank Hunger Report 2019 discloses that the events that make women susceptible to food stress are also different to those for men. Women are significantly more likely at some time in their lives to have experienced domestic violence or financial abuse or raised children on their own for an extended time. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to have been unable to find a job for a lengthy period.
The Foodbank Hunger Report, now in its seventh year, surveys 2,000 charities and 1,000 individuals experiencing food insecurity from around the country. Foodbank Victoria CEO, Dave McNamara, explained that the report aims to better understand and explore what is a growing social crisis.
“The impacts of food insecurity are far beyond just feeling hungry. The report highlights the devastating mental health and wellbeing implications of experiencing food insecurity – especially for women,” said Mr McNamara.
Alarmingly, the data shows that 70% of food insecure Australians experience high or very high levels of psychological distress compared to only 13% of the general population. With mothers twice as likely as fathers to feel like a bad parent when there is not enough food in the house.
“The face of hunger in this country is changing. And sadly, it’s some of the most vulnerable in our community who are suffering. Feelings of shame, guilt and embarrassment, tend to act as barriers for people accessing food relief.”
“No parent should have to wonder how they are going to put food on the table for their families. It’s heartbreaking and distressing that this is occurring right here, in our own backyard,” said Mr McNamara.
In Victoria, Foodbank currently works with over 430 charity partners to provide enough food for 1.2 million meals a month. Concerningly, Victorian charities have reported a 25% increase in the number of people seeking food relief over the past 12 months.
“With the rising cost of living, we’ve seen the demand for food relief continue to rise. Despite assisting more than 140,000 Victorians monthly, our partners have reported an estimated 8,000 Victorians are unable to be assisted each month due to lack of resources.”
“How many Australians need to go hungry before we see real action to address this hunger crisis?” Mr McNamara said.
“At a federal level, we need a bi-partisan, whole-of-government plan to tackle the crisis. We are calling for a commitment to introduce a National Food Security Strategy to ensure we achieve zero hunger in Australia by 2030.”
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