Hunger games are real
SKYROCKETING cost of living pressures are leaving middle class Australians struggling to feed their children.
An alarming one in five Australian children have gone hungry and have missed out on meals in the last 12 months because of the dire financial situation their parents are in, according to a new report.
And of those, one in three are going hungry every month, one in five are going a whole day without fresh fruit and vegetables once a week and one in 10 are eating nothing all day at least once a week.
The Sunday Mail can reveal Foodbank Australia’s first ever study into food insecurity faced by Australian children.
Brianna Casey, CEO of Foodbank, said the report was “frightening” and should serve as a call to action for the community.
“This situation is occurring in every day households. It is a hidden crisis and families are actually having to choose be- tween paying rent, electricity or school fees and feeding their kids.”
Ms Casey said parents were often shamed into silence and said the issue must come out of the shadows so families can be open about asking for help.
Foodbank Australia is the largest provider of food relief in the country and says the demand for its services has increased by 10 per cent in the past year.
The organisation confidentially surveyed more than a thousand Australian parents with children under the age of 15 in 2017 for its Rumbling Tummies report.
The report found that children are now more likely to face food insecurity (a lack of food) than adults in Australia – 22 per cent of children compared to 15 per cent of adults.
An unexpected bill or expense (52 per cent) and house payments (38 per cent) were two of the most prominent causes of food insecurity and more than half of parents in food insecure households (51 per cent) expect it to become more challenging as the cost of living continues to rise.
Dennis Yarrington, president of the Australian Primary Principals Association, said teachers and principals were noticing more children arriving at school without food – particularly when it got to the end of the pay fortnight.