What is food insecurity?

According to the FAO Committee on World Food Security “Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. The four pillars of food security are availability, access, utilisation and stability”. Addressing food insecurity is the primary objective of Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, to which Australia is a signatory.

Foodbank is seeking a long term, bi-partisan, whole-of-government strategy to underpin the efforts of the public, private and non-profit sectors in addressing the current food security crisis. The aim of this strategy would be to meet the food relief needs of every food insecure person in Australia.


There is currently no cohesive federal policy platform underpinning the goal of individual food security in Australia. As such, it is important that this initiative be led by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, noting how many government portfolios have a role to play in developing and implementing key aspects of the strategy (ranging from Families and Social Services to Health and Education to Agriculture, Environment, Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development).

A cooperative approach by the public, private and non-profit sectors, underpinned by a whole-of-government strategy, would deliver a food relief system that is more efficient and effective, and most importantly, would ensure disadvantaged Australians have access to essential support when and where it is needed most. The development of a national food security strategy presents a unique opportunity to align and inspire a variety of stakeholders to deliver benefits to vulnerable communities as well as Australian
society as a whole.

4 million Australians, or 18% of the population, experience food insecurity at some point. Only half of these people ever seek food relief and only a third of the charities are currently meeting the full needs of the people they see. Most charities are forced to turn people away empty handed due to lack of food and resources. There is an urgent need to ensure that the food relief sector is operating at its most efficient and effective to meet the need.


More information and the full Case for a National Food Security Strategy