16/04/2018 - 10:23

Too many kids going hungry

16/04/2018 - 10:23

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Western Australia’s major hunger relief organisation, Foodbank WA, has released its first national report, finding more than one in five children experienced 'food insecurity' over the past year.

Greg Hebble says 400,000 Western Australians went without food at times during the past year.

Western Australia’s major hunger relief organisation, Foodbank WA, has released its first national report, finding more than one in five children experienced 'food insecurity' over the past year.

One in three parents in Australia living in food insecure households has said they cannot afford to buy food, with the cost of living being the main cause of household food insecurity.

Unexpected bills, not enough money coming in, and rent and mortgage payments make it hard for some to make ends meet, with bill prices and housing costs expected to rise.

Foodbank WA chief executive Greg Hebble said 400,000 Western Australians had experienced food insecurity during the past year.

“The figures are unacceptable and sobering,” he said.

“We know that one of the key causes of food insecurity is poverty, so unless we successfully tackle that issue we’re going to see more and more children go without food."

Mr Hebble said Foodbank WA was currently providing 17,000 meals a day to those in need, with demand for their services up by 11 per cent during the previous financial year.

The national report found that, at least once a week, 18 per cent of food insecure children go to school without eating breakfast, 15 per cent go to school without a packed lunch or lunch money, and 11 per cent go to bed without eating dinner.

“If we want all our children to thrive and succeed, we can’t let their hunger go unheard. We really do owe it to these children to ensure Foodbank can get more food to the most vulnerable in our community,” Mr Hebble said.

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