It’s not something that’s expected in the so-called lucky country, yet more than four million Australians have experienced food insecurity in the last 12 months, Ten Daily reports.
Foodbank’s 2018 Hunger report has found that nearly one in five Aussies are struggling to put food on the table.
More than three quarters of these people are regularly eating less than they need, because they lack the money or resources to obtain food — this predicament is described as ‘food insecurity’.
“I think there are a lot of Australians who think this is something that happens in third world countries or in the developing world but it is happening here, and it’s getting worse,” Foodbank’s CEO Brianna Casey told ten daily.
The situation is even more dire in rural Australia — and the outlook isn’t any better — given the full effects of the drought are yet to be felt.
“Country dwellers are a third (33 percent) more likely to be hungry than their city counterparts. This is even before the full effects of the current drought are factored in,” Casey said.
Retired farmer, now pensioner Christopher Dunne regularly uses a ‘community pantry’, which is run by a charity in regional NSW.
“It is a pretty tough life if you haven’t made provisions earlier and me being 80 now we didn’t make provisions when we were younger and worked on the land,” Dunn told ten daily.
The food available in community pantries has been donated or rescued from supermarkets and other businesses, often past its best before date, and includes produce that is disfigured or less than perfect.
Dunn is one of 1.5 million Australians in regional and remote areas that have experienced food insecurity in the past year.
“It’s still a struggle to meet today’s [food] prices with what they are,” he said.