Constellations of hunger: Discourses of Urban Food Insecurity in the UK

Authors: Nicola Livingstone*, UCL
Topics: Urban Geography, Social Geography, Cultural Geography
Keywords: food insecurity, food aid providers, lived experiences, governance, UK, volunteers, employees
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/14/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Bacchus, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The UK appears to be replicating the North American experience of emergency food providers, as the number of people receiving food aid continues to increase year-on-year (Cooper et al, 2014). Recent evidence points to the UK becoming increasingly food insecure, with links emerging between deprivation, austerity, the receding welfare state and the growth of food aid (Sosenko et al, 2013). However, research on lived experiences and the governance of food aid provision is limited (Loopstra et al, 2015).

Through funding from the British Academy & Leverhulme, our ongoing research seeks to explore how food access is mediated, through structures, operations and lived experiences of food aid from the perspectives of volunteers and employees. We are considering how employees and volunteers actively provide food aid in particular locations at particular times, examining how various motivations, challenges and governance mechanisms influence provision and create discourses. Reflecting on our research, primarily from mapping and interviews, we will present key findings from three UK cities: London, Belfast and Glasgow.

References:
Cooper, N., Purcell, S. & Jackson, R. (2014) ‘Below the Breadline: The relentless rise of food poverty in Britain’. Church Action on Poverty, Oxfam & The Trussell Trust.
Loopstra, R., Reeves, A., Taylor-Robinson, D., Barr, B., McKee, M. & Stuckler, D. (2015) ‘Austerity, sanctions, and the rise of food banks in the UK’. British Medical Journal, 360:h1775.
Sosenko, F., Livingstone, N. & Fitzpatrick, S. (2013) ‘Overview of Food Provision in Scotland’, Scottish Government Social Research.

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