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Foodbank Hunger Report 2019 released

Foodbank has revealed in their report issued Oct 14th, 2019, that women in Australia are 50% more likely to experience food insecurity than men, in fact a quarter of all women have experienced food insecurity in some form in the past 12 months. The Foodbank Hunger Report 2019 discloses that the events that make women susceptible to food stress are also different to those for men. Women are significantly more likely at some time in their lives to have experienced domestic violence or financial abuse or raised children on their own for an extended time. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to have been unable to find a job for a lengthy period. Foodbank says "Mother of four, Renee Pettifer is just one of the 373,173 people who are supported by Foodbank NSW & ACT each month and who has experienced the trauma of food insecurity firsthand." “My husband Grant was a tow truck driver and he had an accident at work. The insurance money that we got from the accident was a quarter of what his actual wages were. Within three weeks all our savings were gone. At one point we had $50 to our name. We couldn’t pay bills, let alone a mortgage repayment or buy food.” “Poverty doesn’t just exist in a third world country. I’m an educated woman, I’m doing a law degree, but this can happen to anyone. Having Foodbank supporting me and my family has made such a difference. It means that we are able to now put healthy meals on the table. The Foodbank Hunger Report 2019, now in its seventh year, surveys 2,000 charities and 1,000 individuals experiencing food insecurity from around the country. FBNA CEO, Gerry Andersen, explained that the report aims to better quantify and understand what is a growing social crisis. “We hear so many heart-breaking stories, from mothers skipping meals so their children can eat, to elderly women left on their own feeling isolated because they can’t offer their neighbours or friends so much as a cup of tea or coffee” he said. “We knew the situation was bad, but this year’s report confirms that it’s getting worse and the impact is skewed towards our most vulnerable Ref: NSW & ACT Foodbank Hunger Report 2019 PR women in the community. For example, mothers are twice as likely as fathers to feel like a bad parent when there is not enough food in the house.” “In spite of the fact that Foodbank NSW & ACT is now providing food relief for an average 373,000 people every month, what the report shows is that our charity network is still struggling to meet the demand.” In response to these findings, Mr Andersen has challenged the government to act. “This problem is clearly not going away, in fact its impact on the health and wellbeing of our communities is only going to amplify. What is required is a long-term, whole-of-government plan to tackle this crisis head on. We are calling for a commitment to introduce a National Food Security Strategy to ensure we achieve zero hunger in this country by 2030,” Mr Andersen said. The public can join the growing movement on social media to shine a spotlight on the issue of hunger in Australia by using the hashtags #HiddenHunger and #ZeroHunger, donating at or asking their local Member of Federal Parliament what they are doing to address food insecurity in Australia.

About Foodbank Foodbank is a food relief organisation that partners with the entire Australian food and grocery sector to supply front-line charities nationally with the stocks they need to address hunger in the community. This involves working with farmers, wholesalers, manufacturers and retailers to source fresh and manufactured foods as well as personal and household items for those in need. Donations include stock that doesn’t meet industry specifications, is close to expiry or excess to requirements. Companies also make donations as part of their corporate social responsibility commitments and cause-related marketing campaigns. Foodbank NSW & ACT supplies food and groceries to more than 550 charities and also provides regular breakfasts for students in over 100 schools. As a not-for-profit organisation, Foodbank NSW & ACT relies on governments, individuals, organisations, community groups and thousands of volunteers to fight hunger.