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The Rise of Food Insecurity in England: Using Food Ladders to overcome the barriers

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posted on 2024-07-08, 19:19 authored by Megan BlakeMegan Blake

Key points

Problem: Household food insecurity is rapidly increasing in the UK, affecting 1 in 4 adults. This means they can't afford or access healthy food.

Two approaches:

Current Approach: Solutions like food banks and ‘cash first’ provide emergency help, but don't address long-term needs nor are they preventative.

Social Development Model: This approach sees food insecurity as a lack of resources (money, skills, knowledge, health, wellbeing). As food insecurity rises, these resources decline, creating a cycle of poverty and poor health.

Food Ladders: This community-based strategy offers a three-pronged approach:

Catching: Immediate support (food parcels, mental health help).

Capacity Building: Skills training, food clubs, voucher programmes to increase food knowledge and access.

Self-organising: Community gardens, urban agriculture projects to create sustainable food systems.


Solutions:

Community Support: More resources and industry collaboration needed for community food programmes that help to build resilience.

Local Authority Action: National mandate and funding for local food strategies.

Data Collection: Improved tracking of food insecurity at the local level.

Levelling-Up Strategies: Invest in social development programmes to ensure people have the capability to live a healthy life.

Adequate Income: Businesses need to offer living wages and advancement opportunity, and government needs better income support for those unable to work.

Funding

UKRI HIEF Knowledge Exchange grant

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