In the past month, the Australian Government has introduced a wide-ranging new food stamp program and announced the establishment of a new food distribution centre in Perth, which has seen the opening of a food pantry, a soup kitchen, and more.
Now, the country’s food supply has been hit by a food insecurity crisis.
According to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), there are nearly half a million Australians who are food insecure, with the vast majority of those living in regional areas.
A study published in September revealed that in WA alone, 7,000 people were struggling to afford food, with some households spending up to 30 per cent of their income on food.
According the report, these people are “unable to purchase food for themselves or their families” because they have insufficient income.
“We know that food insecurity is the most common type of food insecurity in WA, so we want to see that more resources are put into that area,” said Dr Amanda Jones, the director of the WA Department of Health.
“[Food insecurity] is a challenge for the entire state, not just WA, but it’s also impacting on the whole country.”
The program will be rolled out in WA’s four main cities and will be able to be extended to a further 20 by the end of next year.
The new centres will be located in three locations: Perth, the Northern Territory, and Adelaide.
They will be staffed by staff from the WA Rural Health Partnership, a collaboration between WA’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, WA Rural Communities and the Rural Health Authority.
“The new centres are intended to provide access to a wide range of support services to those who are in need of assistance,” said Jones.
The new food-related centres will offer an alternative to the traditional grocery store, with more than 30,000 packaged food items available, including produce, meat, and dairy products.
These will also be stocked with hot and cold drinks and other snacks.
Jones said that the new centres were a “game-changer” for the community, but she warned that the program was “not without its challenges”.
“There are still a lot of questions that we need to get answers on,” she said.
“But, as a community, we’re all very happy about this.”
We’re also keen to get a sense of the level of support that people are receiving.
The new food centres will also offer an opportunity for people in WA to access emergency services. “
They will provide a safe, reliable place for people to access the essential food supplies they need, and they will also provide support for people who are vulnerable and need extra support.”
The new food centres will also offer an opportunity for people in WA to access emergency services.
Jones said that while the program had not been designed for the whole state, the new food centers will be the first of their kind in the country.
In the coming months, the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs (AOTSA) is also set to introduce a range of programs to help people with food insecurity.
Food bank: The first of its kind in AustraliaThe WA Department has committed to a total of $100 million in new spending over the next three years, with $15 million earmarked for a new regional food bank.
This is expected to support about 600 people, with a further 70 per cent to be funded through the Community Food Program.
The WA Food Bank will be a partnership between AOTSA and the WA Regional Development Authority.
It will also work closely with the WA Government to develop a “food bank map” and other tools for local councils and communities to assist them in helping people.
For the first time, a food bank is being built in WA.
AOTsa says the new regional resource will help “meet the immediate needs of the food insecure community”, but will also “provide the community with a greater range of services, including food, housing and support.”
The WA Government is also funding $50 million for a national food bank program, and $50.5 million for an ongoing WA Food Security Trust Fund.
WA’s Food Security Agency, the WA Region Food Security Authority, and the Federal Government are also committed to working together to help WA meet the “food needs” of its food-insecure population.