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Navigating the Australian Welfare System for Those Relying on Emergency and Community Food Assistance
journal contributionposted on 2023-03-01, 22:44 authored by Hayley McKenzie, Rebecca Lindberg, Fiona McKayFiona McKay
More than one in ten Australians live in poverty, with many relying on government provided support and emergency payments. These payments are insufficient to cover basic costs of living, and as a result, many people are forced to engage with emergency and community food assistance. The aim of this article is to explore the experiences of those who, despite being in receipt of an Australian welfare payment and engaged with the welfare system, rely on charitable food assistance for some or all of their weekly food supply. Interviews were conducted with seventy-eight people and were thematically analysed. The main findings of this study are the significant challenges faced by people who are on very low incomes when navigating the government-provided welfare and non-government charity systems and the insufficiency of the welfare system in providing income to meet basic costs of living.