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Why are so many people in Britain #stillhungry?

21 Jul 16

Why are so many people in Britain #stillhungry?

A study of emergency food bank use in West Cheshire reveals the true scale and complexity of food poverty
Research led by Dr Elisabeth Garratt, Research Fellow in the Centre for Social Investigation at Nuffield College, has led to the publication of a new report that highlights the scale and complexity of food poverty in Britain today. The “Still Hungry” report draws on two years of detailed statistical data from West Cheshire Foodbank, part of the UK-wide Trussell Trust Foodbank Network. It provides insight into one of the most systematic and detailed studies yet conducted of people receiving emergency food in the UK. Food insecurity is defined by the UN as lacking access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food. While not a new phenomenon, the rapid rise in emergency food provision– commonly supplied by foodbanks – has drawn attention to food insecurity in the UK. The “Still Hungry” report argues that although the data on actual numbers of people experiencing food poverty in the UK vary widely, it is clear that food poverty is a significant problem. Evidence that people are not accessing suitable and sufficient food – or experience uncertainty doing so – demonstrates the persistence of severe poverty in contemporary Britain. “Our research demonstrates the persistence of hunger in 21st Century Britain,” said Elisabeth Garratt. “The results suggest that policymakers need to look again at the way the benefits system operates, and ensure that people in work are paid a wage they can live on.” The report finishes by making practical recommendations to help the numbers of people needing to access emergency food, by mitigating some of the primary causes of acute income loss for local people and ensuring adequate and appropriate support is available where this is not achieved. The research was undertaken in collaboration with the West Cheshire foodbank and the University of Chester. The report is available at: https://westcheshire.foodbank.org.uk/2016/07/19/stillhungry-report/