The Facts

  • 600,000 kids in Australia live in poverty.1
  • Each day almost one in every 200 Australians is homeless, without safe, secure or affordable housing.1
  • One in four people who experience homelessness are under the age of 18.1
  • One in every 38 Australian children aged 0-4 spent time in a homeless service over the course of 2009/10.1
  • Over one million people in Australia do not have enough to eat.3 
  • Australians waste $8 billion of food per year.2
  • The bulk of food waste is sent to landfill, where it creates methane, a greenhouse gas with 20 times more toxic than carbon dioxide.2


Homelessness is a very complex issue that relates to a range of social and economic factors and affects a variety of people in diverse ways. The causes and consequences of homelessness vary and impact many groups such as families, the elderly, youth, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, those with addiction problems, families escaping domestic violence, people with mental health problems, people suffering financial difficulty and those that are socially isolated.

Food Insecurity

Access to fresh nutritious food is a basic human right and in Australia we are often seen as “food secure” because we are the “lucky country” and produce enough food to feed 60 million people annually.  Unfortunately, many Australians experience personal food insecurity. This means that approximately 1.2 million people cannot regularly provide themselves with a culturally appropriate, safe and nutritious food supply from a non-emergency source. There are many factors that may contribute to this situation including financial stress, unemployment, illness, geographic isolation, minimal access to transport and lack of  education around food and nutrition, and of course homelessness.

The Link

Food Security is both a product of and a precursor to homelessness, and the food supply and intake of the most vulnerable of our society must be a priority if we are to truly break the cycle of disadvantage.

Homeless people often suffer from food insecurity, with over one million people in Australia not knowing where their next meal will come from.
These statistics are alarming for a developed country as prosperous as Australia - with food wastage of $8 billion- and where shelter, health and nutritious food should be considered basic human rights.2

Community Partner

Telco Together supports SecondBite whose work supports food security and food services for the homeless and other communities in need. SecondBite rescues and redistributes fresh, nutritious food to over 1,179 community food programs across Australia, many of which are on the front line of food poverty. Without them, thousands of people would go without a daily meal. Read More

Sources 1; 2 SecondBite, (2012), Food Rescue - A Fresh Approach - Report 2, Australia; 3