While reports of food insecurity have previously featured in the media, Singapore’s first nationally representative food insecurity study documented that about 10 per cent of Singaporean households experienced food insecurity at least once in the last 12 months, and that only 22 per cent of these food-insecure households were receiving food support from an organisation. Published by the Lien Centre for Social Innovation and supported by The Food Bank Singapore, “The hunger report: An in-depth look at food insecurity in Singapore” also reports causes and consequences of food insecurity and offers recommendations.
This month, in the same week that the Department of Statistics revealed that households in the bottom 10 per cent were the group hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, with their monthly total earnings from work falling by 6.1 per cent, Beyond Social Services published its “Mind the Chasm” report.
Through a two-part series – the first documenting the 4.1 per cent of Singaporeans facing moderate to severe food insecurity (CNA, Feb. 16) and the second evaluating the over 100 food assistance groups helping those in need (CNA, Feb. 23) – Channel NewsAsia (CNA) cast additional light on a phenomenon which demands greater attention on its root causes, not just the shortcomings of existing intervention mechanisms. In other words, how do we prevent Singaporeans from going hungry in the first place, and if they do experience food insecurity what are the more effective, not just more efficient, ways of dealing with the problem?