Hunger in the country a big problem

Home / Media Releases / Hunger in the country a big problem
October 14, 2018

A new report has found that the number of South Australians going without meals – and particularly those in regional and remote areas – is increasing significantly.

The 2018 Foodbank Hunger Report reveals that an alarming 4 million Australians have experienced food insecurity in the past 12 months with a staggering 117,260 South Australians accessing food relief every month.

The report exposes a growing problem in the country where, during the past 12 months, 1.5 million Australians have experienced the uncertainty of not knowing where their next meal will come from. This means people in regional and remote areas are 33% more likely to experience food insecurity than their city cousins.

The 2018 Foodbank Hunger Report, now in its sixth year, surveys charities and food relief recipients nationwide to determine who accesses assistance, why and how they can be better helped.

“Hunger in the country is an urgent issue that can’t be ignored. Australians living in regional and remote areas are 33% more likely to experience food insecurity than those living in cities,” said Foodbank SA chief executive officer Greg Pattinson.

“Food insecurity is a growing problem which is affecting every day Australians both in the cities and in the regional areas. We are doing our very best to address it, but we need support from our government and our community to help these vulnerable Aussies in need.

“In South Australia, the reality is that even if we had the extra food to meet demand, we simply don’t have the resources to get it to where it is most needed.”

The report highlights the shocking trend with those requiring food relief in South Australia increasing by 14% increase on last year. It is a 38% increase from the same time two years ago.

“It is a sad reality that 117,260 South Australians require food relief every month. We have seen another significant increase in those that just can’t feed themselves or their families. We trust that the State Government will see this alarming trend and work with us to develop an appropriate solution,” Mr Pattinson said.

Other key South Australian findings include:

  •  387,000 meals are provided each month
  • 76% of people reporting food insecurity regularly eat less than they need because they lack the money or resources to obtain food
  • 51% of the charities working with Foodbank SA have reported an increase in people seeking food relief
  • 28% more food is needed to meet demand
  • 551 agencies are provided with food support from Foodbank SA, in both metropolitan and regional areas, including school breakfast programs

“It highlights that vulnerable families in these areas find it harder to access food and are more likely to feel embarrassed and unable to talk to friends and family about their situation than their metro counterparts,” he said.

Client feedback

“Before Foodbank, there were times I went without to ensure my kids have enough but with Foodbank we have never had to,” Hannah, Foodbank Food Hub Client, Mt Gambier

“It is hard to manage most of the time but I try to survive and do what I can to make sure my kids have enough,” Rebecca, Foodbank Food Hub Client, Mt Gambier


For more information:

Sarah Davies, Marketing & Communication Manager, Foodbank SA


About Foodbank SA

  • A not-for-profit and non-denominational community-based organisation established in SA in 2000, Foodbank core concept is simple – to feed those in need by redistributing surplus food.
  • It is estimated that as much as 30 per cent of all food produced is unsaleable. The products may be incorrectly labelled, have faulty packaging, be part of a trial run or are not produced to exact specifications.
  • Foodbank SA is the link between these agencies and food growers, manufacturers and processors, providing an outlet to food companies for their surplus stock and a source of nutritious food for agencies. Over the years, Foodbank SA has established strong connections with the food industry to purchase core staple items at discounted rates. This means we can offer our welfare partners healthy, essential food that should be in every pantry.
  • Over 117,260 South Australians rely on Foodbank services every month, with one third of them being children. Both the number of people accessing food relief and agencies has grown over the past years, with a further 6,000 people are unable to access Foodbank’s services due to high demand.
  • As South Australia’s largest food relief agency, Foodbank supplies food to more than 550 welfare agencies and community groups, and supporting more than 400 schools across Adelaide’s metro, regional and country areas.
  • Last year Foodbank provided over five million meals through its main warehouse at Edwardstown and regional distribution centres in Mount Gambier, Berri and Whyalla, and Community Food Hubs in Bowden, Edwardstown, Elizabeth and Port Pirie.
  • Foodbank relies on the support of a large network of volunteers and the community to put food on the table of vulnerable South Australians who would otherwise go without.
Foodbank NSW Foodbank QLD Foodbank VIC Foodbank SA Foodbank NT Foodbank WA Foodbank TAS Foodbank AUS