The Problem The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic caused a significant increase in the number of people who experience food insecurity and hunger worldwide. Simultaneously, new solidarity alliances have emerged to bridge the gap between food destined to be wasted and the rising need. Hunger is life-threatening. In 1948 the United Nations General Assembly first recognized the right to food as a universal human right. The current pandemic deepens the global hunger crisis, thereby jeopardizing much more than the right to food. The European Food Banks
Introduction In the UK, 10 per cent of all children experience food insecurity – defined as those who have limited or unreliable access to food due to a lack of financial resources ( Power et al, 2020 ). This amounts to 2.6 million children living in food insecure households ( The Food Foundation, 2022 ). Food insecurity is pervasive, has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and inflicts damaging consequences on parents and children ( Aceves-Martins et al, 2018 ; Heflin et al, 2020 ; Loopstra 2020 ; Parnham et al, 2020 ; Power et al, 2020 ). This is
Introduction In the last decade, rising food bank usage has become a source of escalating public concern in the United Kingdom (UK), where it has come to symbolise the country’s endemic problems with poverty and inequality ( Cooper and Dumpleton, 2013 ). The UK’s largest provider of food banks, the Trussell Trust, distributed 2.5 million emergency food parcels in 2020/21, up from 61,000 in 2010/11 ( Bramley et al, 2021 ). The significant increase in food bank usage has seen food insecurity become the subject of increasing scrutiny, intensified further by the
Introduction: what is the need for theory? In a study of a topic such as food insecurity – or hunger – it is justifiable to ask why a theoretical framework is needed at all. What difference can theory make to those reluctantly visiting food banks or parents skipping meals to ensure enough food for their children? This is an important and worthwhile question which should be asked of all research – theoretical and empirical. But, however abstract, theory has a purpose: while we may be unaware of it, theoretical frameworks shape how we think, how we act, and
Background Food bank use and food insecurity in the UK Over the past ten years, the United Kingdom (UK) has seen an unprecedented growth in emergency food aid provision, apparently in response to growing numbers of people experiencing food insecurity. Financial difficulties, such as redundancies, loss of working hours and in-work poverty, as well as long-term health conditions and welfare reforms are implicated in food bank use ( Macleod et al, 2019 ). Food banks can be characterised as ‘agencies that enact the transfer of grocery-type foods free of charge
33 THREE Theories of the food insecurity ‘problem’ and the right to food ‘solution’ This chapter sets out theoretical approaches to both food security and the human right to food. Food insecurity is employed here as a specific way of interpreting the ‘problem’ that leads people to seek assistance from emergency food providers, and the right to food as a way of envisaging not just the ‘solution’ to these experiences but a more comprehensive approach to the realisation of socially just food experiences for all. So, while the notion of ‘food security’ is a
fact that the world’s urban majority reside in those cities (Satterthwaite, 2017 ; Ruszczyk et al, 2021 ). The relationship between food security, food systems, and sustainability also needs engaged consideration within these small cities (Mackay, 2019 ). Understanding this relationship is crucial because urban poverty and food insecurity are inter-related. Tacoli ( 2019 ) explains that most urban residents not only need to purchase the majority of their food but, unlike in rural areas, it is their main expenditure. Local governments in small cities also have
Drawing on empirical research with the UK’s two largest charitable food organisations, this book explores the prolific rise of food charity over the last 15 years and its implications for overcoming food insecurity.
As the welfare state withdraws, leaving food banks to protect the most vulnerable, the author questions the sustainability of this system and asks where responsibility lies - in practice and in theory - for ensuring everyone can realise their human right to food.
The book argues that effective, policy-driven solutions require a clear rights-based framework, which enables a range of actors including the state, charities and the food industry to work together towards, and be held accountable for, the progressive realisation of the right to food for all in the UK.
As the demand for food banks and other emergency food charities continues to rise across the continent, this is the first systematic Europe-wide study of the roots and consequences of this urgent phenomenon.
Leading researchers provide case studies from the UK, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Spain, each considering the history and driving political and social forces behind the rise of food charity, and the influence of changing welfare states. They build into a rich comparative study that delivers valuable evidence for anyone with an academic or professional interest in related issues including social policy, exclusion, poverty and justice.
Food today is over-corporatized and under-regulated. It is involved in many immoral, harmful, and illegal practices along production, distribution, and consumption systems. These problematic conditions have significant consequences on public health and well-being, nonhuman animals, and the environment, often simultaneously.
In this insightful book, Gray and Hinch explore the phenomenon of food crime. Through discussions of food safety, food fraud, food insecurity, agricultural labour, livestock welfare, genetically modified foods, food sustainability, food waste, food policy, and food democracy, they problematize current food systems and criticize their underlying ideologies.
Bringing together the best contemporary research in this area, they argue for the importance of thinking criminologically about food and propose radical solutions to the realities of unjust food systems.