Today is World Food Day. Its theme is ‘Our actions are our future.’ This relates to a healthy diet and how our dietary choices affect global agricultural activities and the environment, as well as issues like fair trade, as much as the grand goal of #zerohungereverywhere.

What is most clear is the way food becomes a foundational currency to measure our lives and the state of our society. In this regard, the Foodbank Hunger Report 2019 for Australia makes for very sobering reading as to how many people in this country are battling to feed themselves and their families.

You will find below a 2-page Foodbank Australia Hunger Report 2019 INFOGRAPHIC that gives you a snapshot into the situation.

What it cannot answer is the question of why charity and community groups are increasingly having to pick up the slack as more people in this country battle for food?

Some three million Australians are now living below the poverty line. Nearly 900,000 are on Newstart and Youth Allowance benefits that are impossible to exist on (currently the focus of a Senate Inquiry).

Underemployment and the issue of low wages generally add to the negative picture – and the inability of many people to eat regularly.

These problems are social and political. No one in a country as wealthy as Australia should need to go hungry. Yet many do – and many more are going the same way.

It’s no small irony that World Food Day falls right at the heart of Anti-Poverty Week in Australia.

At Addison Road Community Organisation’s The Food Pantry in Marrickville the numbers accessing our ‘food rescue and food security’ services have doubled in the past year. We’re now feeding 1500 people a week, many of them families.

And this in Sydney’s gentrified Inner West!

The infographic attached is mirrored by our community – and demonstrates a growing national problem that is interwoven with poverty and a lack of social justice.

We ask when the government will step up and do the work it should be doing to create a more equitable society where Australians can feel more sure of their next meal.