For most of us, hunger relief conjures up images of developing nations, but did you know Australia has a hidden hunger problem?
Can you imagine not knowing where your next meal will come from?
One in six of us will go hungry at some point in the year, and one third of those seeking food relief are children.
The face of hunger is diverse – male, female, both young and old, single and in families, students, employed and unemployed as well as retired people.
The most common reasons why people experience food insecurity are not enough money in the first place, unexpected expenses and large bills or just paying for the roof over their heads.
More than 644,000 Australians receive food relief each month, with a further 43,000 denied help because demand is outpacing supply - 29% more food is needed.
People receiving food assistance say they feel relieved, happy, positive, hopeful and less stressed. They report both immediate benefits of feeling less hungry as well as longer term benefits such as improved physical health, being able to plan for the future and feeling able to seek employment or get a job.
With a health and wellbeing mission at our core, an enduring ethos to make food that is nourishing, affordable and accessible for all Australians, Sanitarium has for almost two decades supported efforts to combat food and nutrition insecurity at home through a number of programs, including the Good Start Breakfast Club.
Since 2010 we have been a national supporter of Foodbank Australia, the country’s largest hunger relief organisation, which acts as a “pantry”, providing over 172,000 meals a day to 2,500 welfare agencies across the country.
How you can help Aussie families in need?
During July, Sanitarium again joins Foodbank and a number of other food producers in its annual Shop & Share program, an initiative aimed at raising the awareness of hunger in Australia.
The campaign helps Foodbank secure additional food donations, which go to the 2,400 charities and 1,500 schools they support throughout Australia.
This year Sanitarium has pledged one million serves of Weet-Bix to Foodbank, the company’s largest donation to any food relief charity.
We’d like to thank Foodbank for their amazing support to vulnerable Australians in need, and all those who contribute to the campaign.