Debbie Ballenden

Debbie Ballenden from Launceston, who regularly collects food supplied by Loaves and Fishes Tasmania for herself and her neighbours. Debbie accesses the food from Starting Point Neighbourhood House at Ravenswood.

A shocking new UTAS survey taken in April-May shows almost one-in-five Tasmanians need emergency food relief.

While the number is down on the record 26% of Tasmanians who needed help at the height of the pandemic, the latest figure of 18% is three times the number who were food insecure in 2019.

UTAS surveyed over 1100 people in compiling its Food Security Report: Is High Food Security the New Normal in Tasmania? It seems it is!

The survey showed 35% of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders are food insecure, and 11% of all those who are food insecure face extreme shortages.

Only 5% of those struggling to get enough food accessed emergency food relief providers.

The most food insecure demographic are those in the 18-24 age group. Need decreases as age increases, with fewer Tasmanians 65+ requiring help.

Respondents under financial stress resorted to eating less, and eating less nutritious food.

Loaves and Fishes is facing increasing demand for food from agencies and individuals as vulnerable Tasmanians face financial stress from rising rents and increased winter heating expenses.

Help Tasmanians doing it tough by donating to the Loaves and Fishes Winter Appeal.