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?
5% of Australians will experience hunger at some point in the year, with 3 in 5 experiencing hunger once a month including 27% of 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 652,000 Australians receive food relief each month, with a further 65,000 denied help because demand is outpacing supply.
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 2,600 welfare agencies across the country.
So what can you do to help? You can donate food, funds or services. You can share Foodbank's social media content within your own network of friends and family. You can even roll up your sleeves and volunteer. Visit Foodbank Australia to learn more and help solve Australia's hidden hunger problem.