Paper Published on Food Insecurity in Voluntas

20 July 2018 / IKnowFood

IKF’s Madeleine Power, Professors Bob Doherty and Kate Pickett, along with Professor Neil Small from the University of Bradford, have had an article published in Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations. The article is entitled ‘The Incompatibility of System and Lifeworld Understandings of Food Insecurity and the Provision of Food Aid in an English City‘ and reports qualitative findings from a study in a multi-ethnic, multi-faith city with high levels of deprivation. They adopt a novel critical lens to consider the tensions inherent within contemporary UK food insecurity. Drawing on interviews and focus groups conducted over 2 years with both food insecurity service providers and women in or at risk of food insecurity (service users), they present conflicting perspectives on food insecurity informed by, on the one hand, neoliberal political economy and instrumental rationality and, on the other, the lived experience of food in the context of poverty. They underscore the divisions between system rationalities of service providers and the experiential nature of lay knowledge, arguing that, amongst service users and ‘the poor’ this discursive difference causes individual and collective disempowerment and a corrosive sense of shame.