Australian youth going hungry amid coronavirus pandemic, says Foodbank report

Almost 35 per cent of food-insecure Australians don't know how they will cope when the COVID-19 supports such as JobSeeker and JobKeeper are withdrawn.

Foodbank CEO Brianna Casey.

Foodbank CEO Brianna Casey says Australia's youth are hardest hit by food security amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Source: AAP

Australians who were struggling to get enough food before COVID-19 are now going hungry more often, with 43 per cent going a day a week without eating.

A special COVID-19 report from Foodbank - the leading provider of food and groceries to Australian charities - has found the number of people seeking help from charities at least once has doubled and says it believes we have not yet seen "peak hunger" in the COVID-19 crisis.

The Foodbank Hunger Report brings together research between April and August and found three in 10 Australians now experiencing food insecurity had not gone hungry before the pandemic.

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Foodbank Australia CEO, Brianna Casey said the report, released on Monday, emphasises that COVID-19 is having a profound effect on the food security of Australians.

"The report highlights that, while need for food relief has become somewhat erratic and unpredictable, charities are reporting that overall demand is up by 47 per cent and many of those now experiencing food insecurity (28 per cent) have never before needed support," Ms Casey said.



Australia's youth hardest hit

The report found two new groups needing urgent help have emerged - casual workers and international students.

"These individuals tend to be younger, so it's not surprising our report shows it's Australia's youth who are bearing the brunt of COVID-19.

Foodbank operations in Melbourne in 2018.
More of Australia's youth are needing food relief during the COVID-9 pandemic, says a Foodbank report. Source: AAP


"They are going without food more often than any other age group with 65 per cent of food insecure Gen Z (aged 18-25) going hungry at least once a week compared to 25 per cent of food insecure Baby Boomers (56-74) and 25 per cent of builders (75+)," Ms Casey said.

While JobKeeper and JobSeeker have provided vital temporary relief for many, 62 per cent say they are not receiving the assistance they need and almost 35 per cent say they don't know how they will cope when government support is withdrawn.



Information for the report was sourced from leading charities and interviews with more than 1,000 people experiencing food insecurity.

Foodbank partners with the food and grocery sector to supply charities nationally with the stocks they need to help the hungry and deprived.

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3 min read
Published 12 October 2020 at 8:36am
Source: AAP, SBS