Foodbank Australia sourced 48.1 million kilograms of food and groceries in 2021, equating to 86.7 million meals, or 238,000 meals per day.
This figure is marginally down from the food relief organisation’s record 48.8 million kilograms of food and groceries sourced in 2020, in a crisis-filled year of Black Summer bushfires, drought, and the start of the Covid-19 pandemic with lockdowns initiated for the first time.
Foodbank Australia CEO Brianna Casey says the continued huge volume of food and groceries needed for food relief is not unexpected, confirming many people are still doing it extremely tough.
“It’s not just Covid-19 contributing to food security issues in Australia,” she says.
“Right now, we’re seeing food supply problems in both Northern Territory and Western Australia after last week’s floods in South Australia cut both road and rail movement of food and groceries. Any supply chain interruption tends to hit vulnerable communities the fastest and the hardest, making our food relief efforts all the more important.”
The Foodbank Hunger Report 2021 revealed one in six adults haven’t had enough to eat and 1.2 million children have gone hungry in the last year.
Ms Casey says 2 in 5 people seeking food relief do not get enough food for their household needs.
“So, although 48 million kilograms seems like – and is – a lot of food and groceries, it unfortunately wasn’t enough to meet the current demand from those seeking food relief, let alone those who don’t even reach out for help because they think someone needs that help more than they do.”
Foodbank sources a wide and diverse range of food and groceries to provide relief to more than one million people each month. Donations are sourced from the food and grocery sector and key staples are purchased thanks to funding from the federal government, corporate Australia and individuals.
“There’s no doubt of the size of the challenge we have in trying to ensure every Australian who needs food relief can access it, but thanks to the incredible generosity of Australia’s food and grocery industry and our many supporters, each day we are one step closer to achieving zero hunger in Australia,” says Ms Casey.