YIKES: A Huge 65% Of Young Aussies Are Going Hungry Every Week As A Result Of The Pandemic


The Foodbank Hunger Report for 2020 has been released and unsurprisingly, young Aussies have seen a huge spike in food insecurity.

As you’d expect, the whole country is suffering as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, with thousands of Australians out of work and struggling to make ends meet. The number of Australians seeking food relief at least once a week has more than doubled to 31% in 2020 (up from 15% last year).

However, it’s young people (Gen Z, followed closely by Gen Y/Millennials) who are really copping the worst of it.

According to the report, a whopping 65% of Gen Z Aussies are going hungry at least once a week, with Gen Y following close behind with 57% unable to afford enough food on a weekly basis.

This is largely a result of younger people being more likely to work casually, or work in fields that have been hit hardest by the pandemic (e.g retail and hospitality).

“We started to see another layer on top of our regular clients, of people who hadn’t accessed food relief before and were doing okay before the pandemic. Some had two working people in their families and then they no longer had jobs,” Angie, a representative of Reservoir Neighbourhood House said in the report.

“Because they were thrown into that situation, the levels of anxiety and fear rose, people were very worried.”

As you’d expect, many people who have found themselves out of work as a result of the pandemic have struggled to put food on the table, largely because they’re tied to bills such as rent and loans that were dependent on their previous salary.

“People live to their income. You rent places you can afford on your income, so when you have no income, the first thing that goes is food,” Angie told Foodbank.

The report also outlines that the JobSeeker and JobKeeper has helped provide temporary relief for some. However, Foodbank found that only 38% of people said the increased or new government payments helped their situation substantially.

37% of people told Foodbank that the additional support was not enough to keep them fed, housed and otherwise comfortable, while 21% of people weren’t eligible for the payments.

Interestingly, the report found that only 61% of people who are experiencing food insecurity are actually seeking relief, which is concerning for the health and welfare of thousands of Australians.

Many cited shame, embarrassment or feeling like there are people who need it more as reasons for choosing not to seek food relief.

However, Foodbank reports that seeking relief can help alleviate stress, relieve hunger and improve physical and mental health, so there’s really no need to be ashamed about it.

If you are in need of food relief, you can find your local services here.

You can read the full Foodbank Hunger Report here.