Executive Summary – Extract
Despite Australia’s Reputation as a Wealthy Country, Food Insecurity is a Reality for an Increasing Number of People
In the last year, more than one in five Australians (21%) have been in a situation where they have run out of food and have been unable to buy more. That is the equivalent of five million people. At least once a week, around half of these people skip a meal (55%) or cut down on the size of their meals to make their food go further (50%). At least once a week, three in ten food insecure Australians (30%) go a whole day without eating.
Every month, the charities that work with Foodbank provide relief to over 815,000 Australians experiencing food insecurity. Despite this huge effort, charities are struggling to keep up with demand. Over the past 12 months, the number of people seeking food relief has increased by 22%. Less than two in five charities (37%) believe they are currently meeting the full needs of the people they assist.
WOMEN BEAR THE BRUNT OF FOOD INSECURITY
Women are at greater risk of food insecurity, and also feel the impacts more strongly than men. More than one in four women in Australia (27%) have experienced food insecurity in the last 12 months. This compares to 18% of men. The experience of food insecurity can look quite different for women and men. The female experience is often characterised by higher levels of emotional strain, with women more likely to say they feel anxious (49% compared to 37% males) and stressed (58% compared to 47% males) as a result of food insecurity. Mothers experiencing food insecurity are twice as likely as fathers to feel like a bad parent when there is not enough food in the house (50% of mothers strongly agree compared to 26% of fathers).The events that make women vulnerable to food insecurity can also look different. Women experiencing food insecurity are more likely than men to have experienced domestic violence in their lifetime (53% compared to 32%). They are also more likely to have raised children on their own for an extended period (49% compared to 28% males).