Demand for food relief has risen by 47 per cent on average during COVID-19, Australian charities say, with growing numbers of international students and casual workers asking for help. Source: The Guardian.
In a report to be released today, Foodbank surveyed about 500 charities once a month between April and September, as well as 1,000 Australians aged 18 and older who had experienced food insecurity in the past 12 months.
Despite the doubling of the JobSeeker payment and the introduction of the JobKeeper subsidy, Foodbank said casual workers and international students were among two “newly food insecure groups emerging as a result of the pandemic”.
The report found 39 per of charities providing food bank services had seen an increase in demand among international students, who are barred from access to JobSeeker or JobKeeper payments.
Of the charities surveyed by Foodbank, 69 per cent noted an increase in the number of newly unemployed people seeking food relief since the start of the pandemic.
The report said those who were already experiencing food insecurity before the pandemic were now seeking assistance more often. Last year, 15 per cent of Australians experiencing food insecurity sought food relief at least once a week. The report found this has more than doubled in 2020, to 31 per cent.
Australian food banks report huge surge in demand during Covid pandemic (By Luke Henriques-Gomes, The Guardian)