This study explores food relief recipients' and providers’ experiences and perceptions of food insecurity in a large regional town in Australia. The cross-sectional qualitative methods research design incorporated survey-based interviews of four food relief services, a focus group of food relief recipients and two biographical interviews of food insecurity experience. Qualitative thematic data analysis provided insight into the respondents’ experience and perceptions of the causes of food insecurity, the provision of food relief and the limitations of a charity model. An ecological-model-based analysis shows that food insecurity is the product of multiple complex causes including chronic and situational poverty. Political dimensions emerged in terms of the policies that are developed or omitted. IMPLICATIONS: Social workers need to advocate for the human right to food and strengthen capacity at multiple levels to improve food security. Improving access to quality and culturally appropriate food requires the implementation of multiple strategies.