Report reveals extent of nation's food insecurity crisis

ADULTS in 22,000 Australian households often go without food for an entire day to ensure their children can be fed instead.

But sometimes these children cannot be protected from Australia's food insecurity with one in 10 profiled in a new social study revealing they go without food on a regular basis.

In a shocking insight into Australia's food insecurity, an Anglicare Australia report has found 76% of people who asked for emergency relief from their organisation were severely food insecure.

The problem is ever present in regional areas were 47% of food insecure households were located.

The report showed 42% of children in major urban areas were severely food insecure compared with 45% in regional and rural households.

Despite the sobering research, Anglicare Australia executive director Kasy Chambers said the findings were underestimated.

"Anglicare considers its findings underestimate the extent of food insecurity as it only reflects people currently accessing Anglicare services," she said.

"So this is just the tip of the iceberg."

The report stated that while the findings were not entirely unexpected, given the survey group was emergency relief recipients, the detail of food insecurity was.

Twenty-four per cent of adults had run out of food once a week but had no money to address their hunger.

Children were not entirely protected from the food shortage either.

According to the research, released on Tuesday, one in 10 children in the research group did not eat for a whole day on a regular basis.

A woman quoted in the report said it was embarrassing having to inform her child's school her child was hungry as she couldn't afford to feed him/her.

Another parent said if her children had scraps she would put it on a slice of bread and consider that a meal rather than eating what her children did.

Topics:  anglicare community food poverty

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