Food Poverty

Food poverty is the lack of food for a healthy diet. It is about the quality of food as well as quantity; it is not just about hunger, but also about being appropriately nourished to attain and maintain health.

The challenge

There are many complicated factors which contribute to food poverty, including the following. 

  • Financial - restricted incomes and high prices for locally available healthy food.

  • Social - cultural expectations, education, skills, social networks and the marketing of unhealthy foods.

    Physical - access to shops selling affordable healthy food, access to storage and cooking facilities, and to transport.

Half a million children are not adequately fed in the UK today, not as a result of negligence but due to a lack of money. In Bristol 69,500 people (16% of the population) suffer from income deprivation; 26% of children live in poverty once housing costs are taken into account, which means 22,000 children are living in households where there isn’t enough money to provide a nutritiously balanced diet.

(Information taken from the Bristol Food Policy Council and 5k Partnership websites)

The response

  • Bristol & South Gloucestershire Methodist Circuit focused in Lawrence Hill, serves communities across Bristol and South Gloucestershire providing practical support to the needy and marginalised

  • FareShare South-West collects and distributes food that would otherwise end up as waste to over 150 charities and organisations working with disadvantaged people

  • The Salvation Army works with people who are vulnerable and marginalised across the world and offer very practical help, unconditional assistance and support regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation 

  • The Trussell Trust fed over 1 million people in 2014-15. People in need are issued with a voucher that can be redeemed for food. The aim is to meet emergency need, providing families and individuals with food for at least three days

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