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Last week I skipped a meal. I did it on purpose for numerous reasons that seemed legitimate at the time. On the daily, my toddler throws a nearly full plate of food in the bin or on the floor, thus ending up in the bin or in the dog’s bowl.
Every time either of these events occurs, I shake my head at myself. The toddler, well, parenting can only take that issue so far. However, I should know better. For one, the energy created in the absence of a meal is disproportionate to the amount of energy expelled running a business and running around after a rather adventurous toddler. Further, what an absolute waste of perfectly good nourishment.
Did you know that 1 in 6 people went hungry in 2021? 1 in 6! And of this number 1.2 million were children. Children who hadn’t had enough to eat. Here, in Australia. The issue of food insecurity was only made worse by COVID-19.
"More than 70% of people going hungry go a whole day without eating at least once a week. 43% of children who live in severe food insecurity go a whole day without eating once a week. Hunger is affecting people across all demographics right now, many are young working families, retirees, and indigenous people living in regional Australia.”
– Foodbank 2021 Hunger Report.
Food insecurity is a socioeconomic condition at a household level that results in limited or uncertain access to enough food. This can be a result of numerous factors, not just the obvious matter of the poverty line. For example, government-imposed restrictions, limited access to staffing and resources along the supply chain, natural disasters, lack of public service. This is not just a wealth issue.
That being said, where the fire began for us to promote the mission and services of Foodbank came from a place of empathy. We listened to a story from the mouth of a farmer who had been on the receiving end of not only a trail of natural disasters and bad luck, but also the delivery of essential supplies and food to help his household through that dark and difficult time.
Our founder David has seen first-hand the struggles and despair of our country’s most valuable people, our farmers and this ignited a desire to do more.
Have a think about when you were last REALLY hungry. Did you make poor decisions? Did you get angry? Sad? Emotional? Irrational? Science has linked poor nutrition and adequate consumption of food to an increase in anxiety and depression.
Add to this sorry predicament the devastation of crop loss, financial insecurities, livestock tariffs, flooding waters and living remotely from the community and you have a pool of issues that can quickly whirl into the decision to end the pain.
The above is extreme, but unfortunately, it’s nothing new. Picture yourself in that position, just for a second as I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Now imagine yourself with a full belly of nourishing food.
“For a decade, the annual Foodbank Hunger Report has been describing the growing prevalence of food insecurity in Australia. The first report in 2012 was met with disbelief that there were people going hungry in ‘the lucky country’. Year-on-year the awareness of the issue has grown, but so too has the problem. What has become clearer since this report was first published is the diversity of people touched by the issue. Food relief is not only being sought out by those who are homeless and unemployed, but working families, refugees, single parents, school leavers, First Nations People and many more.”
- Brianna Casey Annual Hunger Report 2021, Foodbank Australia CEO
Foodbank works with farmers that get produce and supplies in front of farmers in need. This ensures that what is being provided is fresh and nutritious.
The practical barriers to seeking food relief are huge. 38% of those seeking relief either don’t know of any charities close by, are unable to travel to a charity or do not seek food relief because they have already accessed all they are allowed to form a charity. This just highlights the severity of the issue.
Our farmers already do it tough being cut off from supplies, the supply chain and then to feel guilty to ask for help is just not on.
Last year Foodbank sourced the equivalent of 87.9million meals and provided food relief to more than 1 million people each month.
Not only does Foodbank provide resources needed by the hungry many, but also fills a gap in that a large portion of produce and supplies obtained were otherwise heading for landfill thus addressing the $20 billion food waste problem Australia currently has and THEREFORE prevented 92.7 million kilograms of CO2 emissions.
earthYARD wants to feed our farmers, help them get a good night sleep and wake bright, energised and positive. We need them to be this way. They feed us, teach us, keep us warm, heal us. Our farmers are everything. Our communities are everything. We want to nurture and nourish them all. It’s impossible to be everywhere, and while we provide when we can, we can also support when we can’t provide.
An equal portion of our One Good Thing fund will be donated annually to Foodbank NSW/ACT to help them deliver essential supplies to individuals doing it tough and who need support.