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Urban Poverty:
Food Insecurity in Singapore

Uncovering the “hidden hunger” problem and ways to uplift those in need

Singapore is known as a foodie paradise with virtually unlimited food options and is one of the most food secure nations in the world, but did you know there are people in our midst who still go hungry?

Surrounded by cafes, restaurants and food courts, many of us face the occasional ‘difficulty’ of deciding what to eat for our next meal. However, choice is a luxury that those living in urban poverty cannot afford.

When we're too lazy to cook, we can simply dine out or order takeaways – those experiencing urban poverty may resort to skipping meals when they run out of money. When we stock up on groceries at the supermarket, we are greeted with a plethora of options – others have to make do with little or eat less in order to make provisions last longer.

In fact, about 4.5% of Singapore’s population face moderate to severe food insecurity, according to a 2021 global report on food security and nutrition by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

In 2019, Food Bank Singapore conducted a study which found 10% of Singaporean households experienced food insecurity at least once in the last 12 months. Two out of five of these households experience food insecurity at least once a month.

What is food insecurity?

Causes of food insecurity

What solutions are in place to help those facing food insecurity?

Other effects of poverty

Education Inequality
A familiar predicament for those who are living in poverty. Access to tuition centres, time for schoolworks and learning materials are very limited due to financial issues and household duties.
Social Inequality
It is very common for people living in poverty to be marginalised in school, work and community. They are often robbed of the opportunities to uplift their conditions due to this discrimination.
Urban poverty, people living below the global poverty line and effects of poverty are still a serious social problem in Singapore.