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  • Writer's pictureFlow Australia

Putting food on the table getting harder as costs soar

More than a third of Australian households are struggling with food insecurity and that includes many people who are working in mid-to-high earning jobs.

Australians are finding it harder to feed their families, with 3.7 million households going hungry in the past year.

Foodbank Australia's latest report released on Monday, has found 36 per cent of all households are struggling with food insecurity - an increase of 383,000 from a year earlier.

Of those, 77 per cent cent are facing it for the first time.

The Foodbank Hunger Report 2023 examined data taken from almost 4500 Australians and found 60 per cent of the households in trouble had someone living there in paid work.

The researchers say the profile of those struggling is changing, with many working in mid-to-high earning jobs and living in metro areas.

Foodbank's CEO Brianna Casey says younger generations are facing the tightest squeeze, with two-thirds of those impacted by food insecurity aged under 45.

The rising cost of housing and the price of food is pushing people into a situation where they have to sacrifice to make ends meet.

"We have an increasing number of people struggling to secure adequate food and the housing crisis is only exacerbating the problem, with half of all renters and a third of all mortgage holders food insecure in the last 12 months," she said.

The survey found 94 per cent of participants said cutting spending on food and groceries was the first thing they did to save money, with produce and proteins first on the chopping block.

The nation is facing a cost of living crisis pumped up by increasing costs for everything including petrol and food, and a supercharged housing market leaving younger generations facing a lifetime of renting.

Interest rates have climbed significantly in the last 12 months, leading to large increases in rent and mortgages, with the possibility of another rise before Christmas.

Ms Casey said the charity's research found 48 per cent of the total population now feels anxious about, or struggles to consistently get enough food.

"We are fast heading towards a reality where more than half the population will know what food insecurity is because they are experiencing it themselves," she said.

"In a country where we produce enough food to feed our population three times over, this should not be happening."

In Anti-Poverty Week Foodbank is calling on the federal government to do more to address the growing rates of poverty in Australia.


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