Exposing food insecurity in low-to-middle income Melbourne households: Now what?

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Exposing food insecurity in low-to-middle income Melbourne households: Now what?
Authors: Dr Sue Kleve1 , Assoc Prof Claire Palermo1 , Dr Zoe Davidson1 , Dr Sue Booth2
Affiliations: 1Monash University, Notting Hill, Australia, 2Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia Abstract:
Background: Food insecurity, the limited/uncertain individuals’ and households’ physical, social and economic access to sufficient and nutritious food is an underreported, yet salient issue in Australia. Typically associated with those on very-low income, there is limited understanding of food insecurity amongst higher income groups. Using a mixed methods approach, the lived experiences of food insecurity in low-to-middle income Melbourne households are reported. Regardless of income the findings suggest more finessed responses to food insecurity are required. Body: A dark ‘underbelly’ of food insecurity exists in low to middle income households, hidden but varying in severity and temporality. Food insecurity triggers related to income constraints, including events that impacted on household income and increasing costs-of-living expenses. Additional factors included local food supply, and time available to procure and prepare food. The lived experience of food insecurity was broad in nature and encompassed behaviours of guilt and worry to compromises in food quality, quantity and nutrition. Resilience and resourcefulness manifested in an established array of protective strategies. Summary: These findings are new and extend existing understanding of food insecurity beyond very-low income households. Responses to food insecurity need to shift beyond food based responses and individual responsibility; towards shared action and leadership by key actors that places people’s lived experiences at the centre of decision making. Learning Objectives: • Provide evidence for the existence and experience of food insecurity in low-to-middle income households • Reinforce the need for action beyond food based responses.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2018
EventFood Futures Conference 2018: Food Shaping our Future - Hotel Jen, Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 20 Nov 201821 Nov 2018


ConferenceFood Futures Conference 2018
Internet address

Cite this

Kleve, S., Palermo, C. E., Davidson, Z. E., & Booth, S. (2018). Exposing food insecurity in low-to-middle income Melbourne households: Now what?. 30-30. Abstract from Food Futures Conference 2018, Brisbane, Australia.