One in every five Australian children has gone hungry in the past 12 months according to a new report, with some even resorting to chewing paper to try to feel full. Source: ABC News.
The survey of 1000 parents commissioned by Foodbank shows 22 per cent of Australian children under the age of 15 live in a household that has run out of food at some stage over the past year.
One in five kids affected go to school without eating breakfast at least once a week, while one in 10 go a whole day at least once a week without eating anything at all.
“I think that’s a very sad indictment on us as a society,” Foodbank Victoria chief executive Dave McNamara said.
“The most vulnerable in our community — our children, our future — are suffering and I don’t think that’s right, I don’t think anyone thinks that’s right.”
Mr McNamara said the Rumbling Tummies: Child Hunger in Australia report showed more children were going hungry in Australia than adults.
“We’ve heard stories of kids turning up with packets of chips and coke [to school], that was their breakfast and lunch,” he said.
“Some kids were eating paper. Their parents had told them, ‘There’s not enough food, if you get hungry you’ll need to chew paper’.
“This isn’t made-up. This is a story we heard setting up one of our school breakfast programs down in Lakes Entrance, which is a beautiful part of the country.
“No-one’s spared. It’s not people on the street; it’s people in your street. It’s in every community across Australia.”
The report found parents living in poverty would often go without so their children would have something to eat.
Thirty-six per cent said they would skip a meal at least once a week so their children could eat, while 29 per cent would go a whole day at least once a week without eating at all.
The report found the main reason parents were struggling to feed their children was the cost of living, including mortgage or rent costs and utilities.