Foodbank Australia Releases 2012 Hunger Report
GFN member Foodbank Australia has produced their first report profiling hunger in Australia. End Hunger in Australia highlights the increasing levels of food insecurity among Australian individuals and families.
The 2012 report was compiled based on the analysis by Deloitte Access Economics of results of a survey of welfare agencies from across the country and revealed that demand for food relief is growing and changing, challenging traditional stereotypes.
Key findings are summarized in this infographic:
The End Hunger report also highlights the fact that food parcels comprise a large part of the assistance given, with more than 80% of all Foodbank agencies providing parcels of staple foods. “Given that the largest group seeking emergency relief services from welfare agencies are low income families, it makes sense that food parcels are the most prevalent form of food relief. Disadvantaged families are finding it tough to meet their basic needs. They don’t want assistance with food preparation, just the essential ingredients to put a meal on their table at home,” says John Webster, Foodbank Australia’s CEO.
Foodbank currently provides enough food for 32 million meals a year, that’s 88,000 meals every day, yet 9 in 10 welfare agencies report insufficient amounts of food to satisfy demand. Webster explains that Foodbank is stepping up its sourcing of food accordingly, “The traditional Foodbank model of collecting surplus processed food from manufacturers and retailers just isn’t keeping up with demand. We’re adopting new solutions including arranging the manufacture of key staple foods and collecting more fresh products at the farm gate level. These are helping but we’re still not fulfilling demand.”
In order to keep up with rising demand, Foodbank is also seeking to amend the tax laws to provide companies with an incentive to donate to Foodbank, as happens in the US.
Finally, the national organization is working to strengthen partnerships with the transportation industry. As Webster explains, “Moving food and groceries from where they originate to where they are needed is the single biggest challenge, and cost, in Foodbank’s operations. Assistance in doing this efficiently and effectively is vital.”
To learn more about Foodbank and the End Hunger in Australia 2012 report visit their new website at http://www.foodbank.org.au