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Who Uses Food Banks and Why? Caroline Comerford Dr Lyndsay Alexander Caroline Comerford Dr Lyndsay Alexander Photo: Mirrorpix.

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Presentation on theme: "Who Uses Food Banks and Why? Caroline Comerford Dr Lyndsay Alexander Caroline Comerford Dr Lyndsay Alexander Photo: Mirrorpix."— Presentation transcript:

1 Who Uses Food Banks and Why? Caroline Comerford Dr Lyndsay Alexander Caroline Comerford Dr Lyndsay Alexander Photo: Mirrorpix

2 Why was the research needed? Good quality studies have been carried out internationally but there are a limited number of UK studies.

3 © Trussell Trust Food Security ‘All people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life’.

4 © Trussell Trust Income poverty because of austerity measures (including welfare reform) rising food and energy prices, inadequate welfare provision, a low-paid, insecure job market.

5 Methods and sample - Primary research - One-to-one, semi-structured interviews that gave participants the opportunity to describe their experiences - Short form Household Food Security Scale to assess food insecurity - Adults (n=8) 17-52 years - Men and women - Majority on benefit - One in work - One educated to postgraduate level

6 Income Poverty ‘By the time you actually get your benefits and you pay for what you need to pay for i.e. gas, electric, food and there’s virtually nothing left.’ ‘Why, cause basically at the moment, eh, I’m between benefits my ESA got stopped....I’m waitin’ for appointment for the job seekers allowance, eh, until then it’ll be another two, three weeks before I get a payment.’ ‘Skint. That’s got to be the number one answer. Eh, having no money, at the moment.’

7 Food Insecurity ‘Instead of waking up having breakfast, waking up, waiting a few hours, and having breakfast and then, that way, you don’t have to eat as much in the day, if that makes sense? ‘ ‘A typical day now is I’ll get up in the morning, have a cup o’ tea and maybe a bit o’ toast or cereal or somethin’ an’ I won’t eat anythin’ ‘til...maybe 6 o’ clock at night.’ ‘You find yourself drinking a lot, a lot, of tea.....Just so it fills yer up.’

8 Coping ‘If I do go shopping, I’m going to likes o’ Iceland and Lidls and, nothin’ against these places, but I’m going and getting ready meals for a pound and stuff like that, because it’s all I can afford.’ ‘Aye, I go in’a the bins........I’ve even resorted to, unfortunately, some’imes goin’ to a shop an’ stealin’ a bit o’ food, you know.’ ‘I’m nae a thief. Bit, I taen a pint o’ milk ‘is mornin’..... I wouldna say it’s against ma principles because I’ll dae anything for me kids. You understand what ahm sayin’?’

9 Stigma ‘Yeah because it, like, I don’t know if it goes back to stigma.. cause to me at my ‘ead, places like these are for people that’s homeless or you seen them begging in the streets and stuff like ‘at.’ ‘A lot of people can’t ask for help because it’s the hardest thing in the world and really once it’s done it not it doesn’t hurt as much.’

10 Food banking – moral imperative or moral safety valve? ‘Food banking has ‘an increasing presence and unconditionally positive reception in the media, producing as a kind of side effect, increasingly stronger backing from governments and support from society for such charity – adding to and affirming its public legitimacy, confirming the de-politicisation of hunger as a matter for public policy and the state’

11 References Lambie, H., 2011. The Trussell Trust foodbank network: Exploring the growth of foodbanks across the UK. Coventry: Coventry University. Riches, G., 2011. Thinking and acting outside the charitable food box: hunger and the right to food in rich societies. United Kingdom: Carfax/Taylor & Francis, Abingdon UK. Cavero, T. and Poinasamy, K., 2013. A Cautionary Tale. The true cost of austerity and inequality in Europe. Ingram, J.S. et al., 2013. Priority research questions for the UK food system. Food Security, 5(5), pp. 617-636. Ruckert, A. and Labonte, R., 2014. The global financial crisis and health equity: Early experiences from Canada. Globalization and Health, 10(1), 2. Dowler, E.A. and O’Connor, D., 2012. Rights-based approaches to addressing food poverty and food insecurity in Ireland and UK. Social Science and Medicine, 74(1), pp. 44-51. Dowler, E., 2012. The future of UK household security. London: Industry and Parliament Trust. Ashton, J.R., Middleton, J. and Lang, T. on behalf of 170 signatories, 2014. Open letter to Prime Minister David Cameron on food poverty in the UK. The Lancet, Vol. 383, Issue 9929, Page 1631.

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