HELPING HAND: Sisters Makenzie and Allie help distribute Foodbank hampers that could help one of their friends.
HELPING HAND: Sisters Makenzie and Allie help distribute Foodbank hampers that could help one of their friends. Kim Micke

Charities warn again of rising inequality in society

THE Foodbank research showing 15 per cent of adults experienced food insecurity in the past year is no surprise to the Salvation Army.

Nor is the finding in the Rumbling Tummies report that one in five children have suffered food insecurity in the same period with a third of those going hungry for an entire day at least once in the past month.

Child hunger in Australia appears worse than expected with every charitable organisation warning about rising inequality as the reason for this.

Foodbank found at least once a week, 18 per cent of food insecure children go to school without eating breakfast, 15 per cent go to school without a packed lunch or lunch money and 11 per cent go to bed without eating dinner.

These latest findings add weight to data provided last month to the Salvos by Roy Morgan and while housing affordability was the main reason for the research, hardship is now a reality for everyday Australians who are under increasing pressure to keep their head above water and put food on the table for their kids.

Major Paul Moulds says many can't afford to save money and a lack of job security is also complicating people's financial stability, pushing them further to the margins.

"More and more people from all walks of life are reaching out to The Salvation Army for help,” he said.

"The cost of living is no longer just an issue for those experiencing extreme poverty or homelessness.

"The cross section of people seeking help is growing and the situation for many of them is bleak.

"It's vital we strive to create a more open and transparent community.”