CANBERRA, April 15 (Xinhua) -- More than 20 percent of Australian children have gone hungry in the last 12 months, according to a report.
The survey of 1,000 parents, released by Foodbank on Sunday, found that 22 percent of Australian children under the age of 15 live in a household that has run out of food at some point in the past 12 months.
It also found that one in five children went to school without eating breakfast at least once a week and one in 10 went a whole day without eating anything at least once a week.
"I think that's a very sad indictment on us as a society," Dave McNamara, CEO of Foodbank Victoria, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Sunday.
"The most vulnerable in our community - our children, our future - are suffering and I don't think that's right, I don't think anyone thinks that's right."
Children are more likely to go without food than adults, the survey found, but 29 percent of parents said they went without food for a whole day at least once per week so their children could eat.
"Some kids were eating paper. Their parents had told them 'There's not enough food, if you get hungry you'll need to chew paper,'" McNamara said.
"No-one's spared. It's not people on the street; it's people in your street. It's in every community across Australia."
The report identified the cost of living as the main reason that parents were struggling to feed their children.
"We need to look housing affordability... utility costs, we need to look at private health care, we need to look at minimum wage: what's not just a minimum wage, but a liveable wage," McNamara said.
"Then on the other side of things we need to help the families who are currently suffering through this issue, so that means that the welfare sector needs to be properly resourced."