In 2014, just a few months after I returned to the U.K. from Hong Kong I wrote the following:
Rising income inequalities are linked to unhealthy diets and loneliness
One in every five people in the UK today are living in poverty – that is, living with a household income below 60% of the median national income when housing costs are considered. And according to recent research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, two thirds of children in poverty live in a working family. These rates are expected to increase sharply by 2021-22, assuming there is no change in government policy. Continue reading
I was recently invited to participate in an impact report launch for a charity organization. This organisation works with food producers and supermarkets to help people in low income areas cope with and adapt to the challenges that they face. It also helps those communities transition into places where people want to live, raise children and grow old. Central to that organization’s work is the idea that people and communities have assets that with a little help can be mobilized to achieve these ends and that food facilitates this. Here is the broad text of my talk. I believe that adopting an approach that supports people and communities to be able to recognize what they already have is key toward moving beyond longer term transformation.
My mother has a saying—Freeze the moment. Continue reading
While Food Poverty is a popular term within the food charity sector in the UK, is it really what you want to be doing? Is it, in fact, everyday food insecurity that you seek to support? Continue reading
There have been a number of arguments in the press and on social media arguing that the use of surplus food to feed food insecure people is at best only a short-term solution and at worst harmful (e.g., Caraher 2017). I would agree that the hunger that is caused by poverty is not only not being addressed by the UK government (see Blake 2015, and a more recent update of the article published by GMPA) but in some cases is being enhanced by current government policy (e.g., a benefits system that has built in delays, draconian sanctions, programme cuts that impact on the most vulnerable). In reading the argument, however, a number of issues stand out as needing further clarification and interrogation. Firstly, there is a lack of understanding about food surplus in terms of what it is. Secondly, there is misconception about how food surplus becomes food for bellies as it travels through the charity sector. Thirdly, there is an overly narrow understanding of the value of surplus food both for charities and those whom they support. These issues are explored in this blog post. Continue reading
This is the text from my recently published peer-reviewed paper in the journal Local Environment. The paper will be part of a special issue on Food Justice edited by Agatha Herman and Mike Goodwin in the future. The e-paper is available, but behind a paywall until May 2018. I am making the text available here as per the copyright agreement, but for correct referencing please see: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13549839.2017.1328674