Food insecurity

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4 million Australians live with food insecurity, they pay the rent or mortgage first, they pay bills when threatened by debt collectors, they take work tools and other items to pawn brokers and money lenders to get through one month, or even one week at a time.   They want to keep their dignity, their mental health and their family together.  While our graziers have seen sheep and wool prices at the best levels for many years they are now faced with drought. Arid conditions without rain affect our grain farmers and our cattle growers.  The Country Womens’ Association and many other groups are lending a hand.

In the cities traditional agencies such as Vinnies, Salvos and the Brotherhood (BSL) are experiencing greater needs to support individuals, couples and families.

Food insecurity is now a world wide problem as countries experience the extremes of climate.  Whether it be forest fires in Canada, fires in Greece, landslides in Indonesia the Global Relief Agencies are saying enough is enough.

Leaving one’s homeland to go to and adjoining country or moving from barren farm to a nearby, overcrowded city is causing concern for most of the developed world as Western countries fear overburdened by immigration, refugees and asylum seekers.  World leaders are not providing encouragement for their own people.  In Greece, for example, austerity measures, caused great pain with welfare benefits stopping altogether and wages being discounted.  Our leaders in Australia blame people for “dole bludging” instead of providing accommodation and incentives to work fruit picking and guaranteeing that people will keep much needed Health Care Cards.

Workers on good wages with mortgages cringe at the thought of losing jobs and homes due to disruptive technologies, foreign competition, changes in interest rates or increasing cost of living pressures.  A family may have 4  phones and then the internet, all deemed essential but costing $2000 to $3000 per year.  Our social security system doesn’t support people taking risks -opening a business, changing jobs, learning a new trade.  The Australian Taxation Office only allows deductions for self education when a person studies in the same industry – Not to make a change to a new industry.  All this makes putting healthy food on the table a burden for families.

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