Aussies Going Without Food - Report
8 May 2013 at 3:06 pm
Joint research by welfare Not for Profit, Anglicare and the Samaritans Foundation reveals high levels of food insecurity for low income households accessing Emergency Relief (ER) services in Australia – with NSW and the ACT hardest hit.
Of the people surveyed, who accessed these ER services, 98% were found to be food insecure and 82.2% were severely food insecure.
“This means that they were not sure where their next meal was coming from or they were unable to provide food for their family on a regular basis,” the report said.
Households also reported that they worried about running out of food (87%), actually ran out of food (68%), cut meal sizes (82%) or skipped meals entirely (68%) on a recurring basis.
The report said that the levels of food insecurity found in NSW and the ACT were significantly higher than levels found across the rest of the nation.
“Some 95% of the people surveyed in NSW and ACT indicated that they had run out of food in the last three months due to unexpected expenses like medical bills, car repairs, large power bills and sudden increases in rent.
“We found that parents were often protecting their children from food insecurity by going hungry themselves. However, it is deeply concerning that in one in four food insecure households, children were actually going hungry too,” Grant Millard, ANGLICARE Sydney CEO said.
“Last year, more than 26,000 people accessed ANGLICARE’s Emergency Relief services across NSW and the ACT at a total cost of $4.85million, 40% of which was funded through donations and support provided by local communities.”
The report said its findings for households with children were particularly concerning:
- Children in 70% of households were regularly eating low cost food because there wasn’t enough money to buy good quality food
- Parents in 30% of households were regularly cutting their children’s meal size to make food go further
- Children In almost one third of households (31%) were regularly not eating enough because parents couldn’t afford to buy sufficient food
- Children were regularly going hungry in 24% of households
- Children In 7% of households did not eat for a whole day on a regular basis
Those at highest risk of food insecurity were low income earners, people with a disability, single parents, people experiencing rental stress and people from an indigenous background.
“The biggest constraint in food insecure households was inadequate income,” Millard said.
“People were often making the difficult choice of going without food in order to pay for other more pressing expenses.”
The release of the report Hard Choices: going without in a time of plenty will form part of the launch of Anglicare’s Winter Pantry Appeal .
The full report can be found here: Hard Choices – Going Without in a Time of Plenty