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More Kiwis experiencing 'food stress'

Published: 9:21AM Tuesday April 05, 2011 Source: ONE News

More and more Kiwis are becoming distressed about their inability to put good food on the table for their families.

Dr Kristie Carter from Otago University's Public Health department told TV ONE's Breakfast 16% of New Zealanders have reported feeling "food insecure".

Carter says people suffering from food insecurity are those who have used food banks or food grants in the last 12 months, forgone food to pay bills or regularly gone without fresh fruit and vegetables.

"It's a lack of access to safe food ... the study shows that this is a big problem," she said.

Carter is not surprised by the findings with the soaring cost of living.

The price of milk, meat and fresh fruit and vegetables are all on the rise and Carter says this is leaving many families stressed.

"It sort of makes sense that if you can't afford to feed your family you feel stressed," she said.

Carter says people suffering from food stress have feelings of hopelessness, nervousness, and sadness.

Young people, non-European ethnicities, multi family homes and low income families are the most likely to feel insecure about food, Carter said.

She adds that women are affected more, but the feelings are still significant in men.

"That could be around different roles, women are more likely to buy the food for their family or cook the food for their family," she said.

Providing more support for low income families in the way of food grants and easier access to food banks are solutions according to Carter.

She believes the government has a huge part to play.

"We're highlighting inequalities in our population ... we need to improve the lives of our low income population," she said.

The study analysed 19,000 responses to questions about food over an eight year period.

Are you feeling stressed about increasing food prices? Leave your thoughts on the messageboard below.

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  • some_bloke said on 2011-04-06 @ 02:02 NZDT: Report abusive post

     Removing the GST from food would mean 15% more food for these people. Taxing food is cruel, and it makes little difference to the wealthy, and all the difference to the poor, as food expenses are a small portion of the income of the wealthy, and a large portion of the income of the poor. Everyone needs to eat. Not everyone needs an eighth bedroom, or a vacation home.Try taxing those. Politicians don't care about food tax, as they all make $200,000+, see here: http://tinyurl.com/nzparliament

  • some_bloke said on 2011-04-06 @ 01:42 NZDT: Report abusive post

    Removing the GST from food would mean 15% more food for these people. Taxing food is cruel, and it makes little difference to the wealthy, and all the difference to the poor, as food expenses are a small portion of the income of the wealthy, and a large portion of the income of the poor. Everyone needs to eat. Not everyone needs an eighth bedroom, or a vacation home.Try taxing those. Politicians don't care about food tax, as they all make $200,000+, see this: http://tinyurl.com/nzparliament

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