By Kimberley Nichols
It’s hard to believe that children are going hungry in our lucky country. But a new report from Foodbank, Australia’s largest hunger relief organisation, has found that a staggering one in five children are going hungry each year. That’s almost half a million rumbling tummies.
Released last week, Foodbank’s Rumbling Tummies report revealed it’s more likely for a child to go hungry than an adult in Australia today. The survey of 1000 parents in food insecure households found that one in three children were going without food at least once a month, while one in 10 children were going an entire day each week without eating at all.
Furthermore, of those children living in food insecure households 18 per cent went to school without eating breakfast; 15 per cent went to school without lunch; and 11 per cent went to bed without eating dinner at least once a week.
“While people are quick to judge and label parents irresponsible, the reality is the main cause of this crisis is the increasing cost of living,” said CEO of Foodbank Victoria, Dave McNamara.
“Stagnant wages, casualisation of the workforce, skyrocketing costs of housing and utilities, are forcing parents to choose between paying their bills or feeding their families – and that’s just not right.
“Parents are doing as much as they can to protect their children from hunger. Nine out of 10 parents in food insecure households tell us that they have skipped meals so their children can have food on their plates.
This might seem unfathomable to many, but it is the stark reality for many thousands of desperate parents seeking food relief through our charity partners.”
Foodbank provides food to over 100,000 Victorians a month, however, its frontline charity partners report that demand for food relief increased by 10 per cent last year. In Victoria, 8,000 people are turned away from charities each month due to a shortage of food and resources.
To find out more about the Rumbling Tummies report and how you can play a role in supporting Foodbank’s fight against hunger, visit foodbankvictoria.org.au