For many people the words ‘hunger’ and ‘malnutrition’ conjure up images of starvation in Horn of Africa countries and developing nations in Asia. Most Australians are unaware that hunger and malnutrition also exist much closer to home – and are shocked by the extent of hunger in the lucky country.
According to the Foodbank Hunger Report 2019, around five million Australians experienced food insecurity over the previous 12 months – a shocking one in five people. Perhaps saddest of all, 22 per cent of them were children.
Worryingly, the trends aren’t good with a 22 per cent increase in the number of people seeking food relief.
Some of the most common reasons people skip meals or are unable to buy food include having limited income to meet the increasing cost of living, bill shock, housing affordability, and the expense of staple food items.
Australia’s economic statistics look impressive next to many other countries, but they fail to convey that too many in our society are struggling. Adults are skipping meals, children are going to school without breakfast or lunch, and many families cannot afford healthy food.