Hello, we hope you have had a good start to the New Year. Thank you for your vital support. We couldn’t do what we do without you.
‘Cost of Surviving’
Although parts of the COVID-19 pandemic are behind us, we currently exist in a perfect storm of a cost-of-living crisis, an income crisis and natural disasters of growing frequency and intensity. This is impacting not only demand for food relief across Australia, but also our supply. Like the price increases consumers are facing across food and groceries, energy and housing, it is also costing Foodbank significantly more to source, store and transport essential food relief at a time when demand has never been higher.
The 2022 Foodbank Hunger Report and our recent RepTrak dataset show the level of concern that the financial situation is causing. The graph above highlights that personal financial security and the risk of recession are now the top two concerns of Australians, growing steeply over the last year.
That concern is reflected in our food distribution model with ‘kilograms being issued’ statistics at record levels around the country.
On the 1st February Foodbank Australia’s CEO Brianna Casey gave evidence at the Australian Senate Select Committee on Cost of Living. Below is an excerpt from her opening statement:
“The numbers I want to share with you aren’t the ones that appear in the monthly ABS updates or portfolio budget statements. Apologies to the economists in the room, but they’re far more important than that. They’re numbers that keep me up at night and they matter.
» 1.3 million: that’s the number of children living in severely food insecure households – compromising on their nutrition, skipping meals or even going all day without eating
» 64: that’s the percentage of households citing increased or high cost of living as a reason why they couldn’t meet their household food needs, with increased food and grocery costs, increased energy costs, increased housing costs and unexpected large expenses as the major contributors to their struggles
» 54: that’s the percentage of food insecure households in Australia with someone in paid work. A job – or even multiple jobs – is not a shield against the cost-of-living crisis.
» 500,000: that’s the number of households who will struggle to put a meal on the table tonight. These are households in my community. In your community. In a growing number of communities.
We need solutions that are going to deal with the immediate crisis, like ensuring food relief is available to those struggling to put a meal on the table today. We need clever policy solutions that will deliver increased food and stimulate regional economies, like a national food donation tax incentive.
We need to do better by those in our community who are hurting.”
Thank you for again for supporting Foodbank’s efforts to help struggling Australians. Your support will go towards our Key Staples Program to ensure that we always have key items like milk, cereal, eggs, canned vegetables and pasta in stock at our warehouses. By proactively purchasing these products at the lowest possible cost, we can provide nutritious and convenient food for people for as long as they need it.