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One in 10 Singaporean households experiences food insecurity: survey

Singapore Business Review logo Singapore Business Review 4 days ago Staff Reporter

 

About one in ten Singaporean households experienced food insecurity in the last 12 months, a survey by the Singapore Management University (SMU)'s Lien Centre for Social Innovation revealed. This is despite the Lion City being ranked by the Economist Intelligence Unit as the most food-secure nation in the world last year.

The survey found that 10.4% households experienced food insecurity in the last 12 months, out of which two out of five households experiences this at least once a month.

Food insecurity is defined as a state when a household does not have, or is not confident of having, economic and physical access to sufficient, acceptable food for a healthy life.

"Food insecurity is a concern even in an affluent society such as Singapore. The COVID-19 pandemic has escalated this problem exponentially with people suffering from pay cuts and job losses," said Nichol Ng, co-founder of the Food Bank Singapore.

Only 22% of food-insecure households are currently receiving food support. A substantial percentage of food-insecure participants did not seek food support, citing embarrassment, being unaware of available food support and the belief that others need it more than themselves.

Healthwise, food insecure households are at risk from suffering physical and psychological detriments. Food-insecure participants of the survey were found to more likely be in the high-risk BMI category. They also reported a slew of negative emotions, demonstrating its psychological impact.

"We must do all that we can to ensure that food insecurity becomes history and that no one goes hungry in our country," Ng said.

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