Imagine you’re a parent and you have to decide between power and food for your family. That’s the reality for the 430,000 Queenslanders living below the poverty line.

Lily Greer reports.


This is Penny Kotuhi and in 2012, the mother of two found herself the victim of a workplace injury and without an income.

She’d lost her car and was struggling to make ends meet, when she reached out to a Food Bank affiliated charity.

Penny Kotuhi, Food Bank Volunteer: “And struggling to look after a family and put food on the table was hard. As well as trying to pay bills that were just piling up.”

Penny was just one of the 180,000 Queenslanders who rely on food relief services each month.

The Food Bank says a 35% increase in food donations is needed over the next year to cater for these numbers.

Michael Rose, Food Bank CEO: “To have food insecurity and people who go without, I find that frustrating. We live in the lucky country, it’s quite frustrating to realise there are people with that sort of problem.”

As Australia’s largest hunger relief organisation, Foodbank provides 75% of the stock distributed by food relief charities.

It may look like Food Bank has more than enough food to go around, but every month 65,000 Australians are turned away from food relief charities due to a lack of supplies, and the demand for food security is only growing.

Food Bank has seen a 13 per cent increase in Queenslanders seeking food support in the last year.

Their new Dose of Reality green juice wants to change that.

As you drink it, the bottle reveals a hidden message encouraging the reader to think about those who can’t afford their next meal, let alone a trendy health drink.

Penny has a message of her own for families doing it tough.

Penny Kotuhi, Food Bank Volunteer: “You’re never on your own. There are lots of families that are struggling and don’t be shy.”

Lily Greer, QUT News.