It's hard to imagine that there are a lot of Australians worrying every day about where the next meal is going to come from. This year's Hunger Report has been released, showing one in six Australians experienced exactly that over the past year. The nation's largest food relief organization, Foodbank, says most welfare and community groups can't keep up with demand.Rachel Brown visited one of Foodbank's warehouses in Melbourne.
So in front of us, what you can see there, all that comes from food drives or something from Coles or Safeway they've got enough or too much of.As volunteers at Foodbank's Yarraville warehouse in Melbourne's west are being given sorting instructions. Matt Prince walks me through the warehouse aisles heaving with food from corporate donations, manufacturers or produce not fit for export. There are perishables, frozen and chilled goods，fruit and vegetables.
So we go to the Melbourne markets three times a week and source anything that they might have that's excess produce that they don't want to take back with them. And produce from a deal with big farming families. We are paying them a a reasonable price to actually give us the produce that would usually go into landfill or you plough back into the ground because they can't sell it to large supermarkets because of size, shape，blemishes，those kinds of things. So now we know at certain times of the year that we'll have carrots in the warehouse, we'll have pumpkins, we might have potatoes and tomatoes. Now agencies can kind of bank on that we'll have certain produce at certain times of year. This food is trucked out to welfare agencies and community groups to help feed more than 644,000 people nationally. Low-income families, pensioners a lot of children going hungry as well. I read the face of hunger is really changing. Yeah it definitely is. They're saying there's more Generation Ys gonna be affected by food insecurity now. but we've definitely seen over the last kind of 10 years a big change from that person that people traditionally thought was homeless person on the street to what it is now.
Foodbank's marketing manager Paula Bantock says Australia's food insecurity is now at crisis point. One in six have experienced the need to call on food relief at least once. What's also scary about this number is 28 percent are experiencing this on a regular basis. And the survey looked at what kind of implications that has emotionally，mentally，physically.The flow-on effects, yeah they're massive and they're never ending. So motivation, feeling outcast from society, feeling a loss of self-esteem, obviously health and wellbeing. And despite this massive operation that's going on around us at the moment,it's still not meeting demand. No unfortunately not. We've also found in the survey that nationally, a number of charities are having to turn away people.
To give you an example, despite this factory pumping out the equivalent of more than 17 million meals for Victorians last year, relief agencies are still having to turn away nearly 7,000 hungry adults and children each month. We're about thirty percent behind on meeting the demand. What we ask for is our food donors and all the generous support from the manufacturing, farmers, primary producers, is that we increase donations and call on their support for that to try and meet that gap. Do we need to rethink the Australia deals with waste for example？What chefs or what supermarkets would consider waste？To be honest, in Australia, they've been very proactive in this area for the last 10, 20 years. Supermarkets are donating that food and there are other charities that collect
that food; Frontline. And now the fact that food insecurity is on people's radar. There's even more reason why they're not actually wasting that food. From a perspective, it's a callout to the food industry. If they are running out of stock that is close to best before date, close to use by date we can absolutely use that product. Don't throw it away, we need it.