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Foodbank hunger report 2020

Food insecurity in the time of COVID-19
Food relief Economic insecurity Food accessibility Poverty Food security Australia
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Foodbank hunger report 2020 3.99 MB

COVID-19, and its flow on effects, have changed the face of food insecurity in Australia. The global pandemic has impacted the lives of all Australians, however, those who were already struggling before coronavirus hit felt the effects more quickly and more seriously. Prior to COVID-19, the main groups accessing food relief were families living on a low income, the unemployed, single-parent families, the homeless and people with mental illness. Since March this year, some of these groups have become even more vulnerable and are needing to access food relief more often. Young Australians are much more likely to be doing it tough as a result of COVID-19. With this generation more likely to be working casually, many have lost their source of income or had their income reduced.

Many disadvantaged people live week to week and as a result are much less likely to have safeguards against sudden changes in the external environment. Early in the pandemic, when some Australians began panic buying and stockpiling, vulnerable Australians faced increased food insecurity as many of the basics disappeared from the shelves and they did not have the resources to stockpile themselves or purchase more expensive alternatives.

  • Charities have seen a significant increase in the frequency of demand for food relief. In 2019, 15% of Australians experiencing food insecurity were seeking food relief at least once a week. In 2020, this has doubled to 31%.
  • Three in ten Australians now experiencing food insecurity had not gone hungry before the pandemic. Young people are being hardest hit by the impact of Covid-19.
  • 61% of food insecure Australians have accessed food relief since Covid-19 was declared a global pandemic. Charities are seeing demand for food relief become erratic and unpredictable.
  • Almost 35% of food insecure Australians don’t know how they will copy or expect they won’t cope at all when the additional Government support is withdrawn.


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