Struggling parents cutting and skipping meals

ONCE a week struggling parents across Central Queensland are unable to put food on their table.

And those that do are plagued by a constant feeling of anxiety as they try to avoid their cupboards going bare.

New research released on Tuesday by Anglicare Australia shows 76% of people who sought emergency relief from the Central Queensland-arm of the organisation and participated in the study were severely food insecure.

Those who had not quite depleted their food stock - 83% - still anxious about the thought of running out of food.

Among the survey participants from Barcaldine, Biloela, Gladstone, Moura, Rockhampton and Longreach, three out of four adults had run out of food in the last three months and had no money to address their hunger.

As a result, 73% of adults were cutting their meals and 63% were completely skipping their meals.

Anglicare Central Queensland chief executive officer Suzie Christensen said the research indicated an ever present sense of anxiety about running out of food.

"Food security requires access to readily available, safe and nutritious food," she said.

"It has become increasingly evident, to workers providing Emergency Relief across Anglicare agencies nationally, that some low income households are struggling to access sufficient and appropriate food."

A large chunk of the low-income earners who took part in the study - conducted through Anglicare centres nationwide - were attempting to survive on less than $1000 a fortnight.

The people hurting the most were those on social welfare and single parents.

On an Australia-wide scale, despite adult attempts to shield their children from the food shortage, one in 10 children often went unfed for an entire day.

Respondents spoke of the pain, anxiety and embarrassment of not being able to feed their children.

A woman quoted in the When There's Not Enough to Eat report said it was embarrassing having to inform her child's school her child was hungry as she couldn't afford to feed him/her.

Another parent said if her children had scraps she would put it on a slice of bread and consider that a meal rather than eating what her children did.

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