1 in 5 Australian children have experienced food insecurity in the last 12 months
I first came across the term 'Food Insecurity' only a couple of months ago on SBS's Insight. Very familiar with the themes of what food insecurity defines, when I first heard the term, it was like a lightening bolt to the heart to describe the food poverty crisis in Australia. Although this term is used to describe food poverty, I think it is a perfect term to describe the state in which Australia has a relationship with Food.
Defined by the Food Bank, the largest supplier of food to those experienceing food poverty;
"Food insecurity is a situation that exists when people lack secure access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food for normal growth and development and an active and healthy life".
I think our initial reaction to the term is that food insecurity only affects the homeless. The truth is 3.6 million Australians are experiencing food insecurity, 27% of which are children. The truth is Hunger in Australia is diverse – it affects males, females, children, the elderly, single people and families, students, employed, unemployed and retired people. High risk groups include people with disabilities, refugees and Indigenous Australians.
I think it is important to recognise that when those affected by food insecurity, can access food, their choices are minimal. Low cost items are generally overprocessed, full of sugar and sodium, and the nutritional value is minimal.
Nutrition is vital for physical and mental health. Every Australian has the right to access real food to thrive for an active and healthy life. FareShare is one organisation making a significant impact in providing nutritional meals cooked from scratch for Australians affected by food insecurity. We need to support organisations like this to make a sustainable change. Fareshare is one of our organisations that we have chosen to support with our Impact membership.
There are many issues around Nutrition but it would be great if we could start with a baseline of access to nutritionally dense food for all Australians.
Would love your thoughts?