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Identifying the Prevalence and Impact of Food Insecurity on Children and the Availability of Food in Out-Of-School Provision
“Food Security means that all people at all times have physical, social and economic access to sufficient safe and nutritious food that meets their food preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life”. United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security
Purpose of the Research
Aims: a) to identify the extent to which food insecurity is impacting children, b) to identify the best practice solutions currently being provided and by whom and c) to identify gaps in provision.
The research will inform groups and organisations working with children and families who may want to secure funding in order to tackle specific areas of food insecurity and the wider narrative around food security which is now on the political agenda.
Project Background and Statistics
According to widely reported figures (Trussell Trust, 2019) over the last financial year, the numbers of food parcels distributed by the network across the UK rose by 19 percent to nearly 1.6 million.
Birmingham contains the youngest population of any city in the UK and 56.4% of Birmingham’s population live in areas which are amongst the 20% most deprived in England (Birmingham health profile 2017-2018).
Malnutrition and obesity are identified as part of Birmingham’s health inequalities. Child poverty and infant mortality are some of the highest in the country. 32.9% of children live in poverty, increasing to 42.5% in Ladywood.
Semi-structured interviews with:
- Parents/carers who access children’s out-of-school provision.
- Those involved in the delivery of out-of-school activities.
- The project will raise awareness and give a voice to those in food poverty.
- By working with organisations who are engaged with children in food poverty, our findings will add to the evidence base for future research.
- Hopefully we will continue this work and obtain further funding for interventions to help alleviate food poverty, especially for children.
- It will add to the existing narrative on food poverty, which is currently in its infancy in the UK.
- It will further help shape future research and inform policy.
Gazala Aslam (corresponding author Gazala@Equanimity.org.uk), Nettes Derbyshire, Debbie Kerslake and Alison Thompson
Thank you to all the individuals and families who have participated in the research.
Thanks to Dr Andy Jolly for his advice and guidance on Food Security and involvement in the Food Action and Research Midlands (FARM) network.