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An interim report, released in May 2023, found the increasing cost of food and groceries were a major contributing factor to the cost of living crisis (Bigstock)

A Senate committee which launched an inquiry into the cost of living asked Australians to share their experiences and they have responded – more than 900 by the latest count. Source: ABC News.

They are struggling to afford the basics, at times going without food to make sure their loved ones can eat.

Some provide their names. Others are anonymous. But their responses paint a picture of a food insecurity problem experts say is “on the rise” across Australia.

A mother skips meals to make sure her son can eat dinner. Later in the week she will join a line of people accessing a food bank for the first time in their lives. 

Others get through the day on little more than coffee or a bread roll, going hungry to pay rent, electricity bills or buy their pets food.

Salvation Army mission leader Lauren Martin says staff are seeing many people visit support services for the first time. 

“They’re embarrassed, they’re like, ‘Should I be here, other people have it worse than me,’“ she says. 

“There’s no buffer anymore. As things are getting more and more expensive, people have run out … so they are literally living pay cheque to pay cheque. 

National food relief organisation Foodbank told the inquiry it had seen the root cause of food insecurity across Australia shift from sudden, unexpected expenses – or “bill shock” – to people struggling to afford “expected” everyday expenses. 

An interim report, released in May 2023, found “increasing cost of food and groceries [were] a major contributing factor to the cost of living crisis”.

The committee is set to hand down its final report on May 31.


Hundreds of Australians say they skip meals, visit food banks and ‘dumpster dive’ as the cost of living crisis continues (By Brianna Morris-Grant, ABC News)


Hot weather making Australians on low incomes sick, says Australian Council of Social Services (By Hannah Murphy, ABC News)