What’s for dinner? Figures show more Australians go hungry

What’s for dinner? Figures show more Australians go hungry

By James Wells

 

While most Australians take their daily meals for granted, new figures show there are more people going hungry.

 

A joint statement from the Public Health Association of Australia, Australian Red Cross, and the Dietitians Association of Australia says food security is not something Indigenous people living in remote communities take for granted, with almost a third running out of food and unable to buy more.

 

But this issue is not just an Indigenous one, as figures from the Australian Institute of Family Studies show unemployed people, young people, low income earners, single parent households, rental households and Indigenous people living in urban areas, are all vulnerable to food insecurity.

 

This comes despite a statement from the Department of Agriculture which says “in Australia we are in the enviable position of having adequate quantities of high quality food to feed our population.”

 

The Australian Institute of Family Studies believes income inequality and the rising cost of living are the crux’s of this issue, not a food shortage, with the income gap between middle and low income households rising, and while many households may eat regular meals, often they are not nutritionally adequate.

 

But many welfare dependent families would have to spend 33% of their disposable income to eat healthily if they just bought generic brands, with this figure reducing to 25% for single parent households, and 18% for dual parent households in low income brackets.

 

These costs are drastically heightened for those in remote communities, as food is mostly bought from a general store, with prices inflated by 26 per cent and limited choice on offer.

 

A whole government approach to combat food inequality, including education programs and financial support to vulnerable groups; is recommended by the AIF and Australian Red Cross.

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