Austerity, welfare reform and the rising use of food banks by children in England and Wales

Lambie-Mumford, Hannah and Green, Mark A ORCID: 0000-0002-0942-6628
(2017) Austerity, welfare reform and the rising use of food banks by children in England and Wales. AREA, 49 (3). pp. 273-279.

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<jats:p>Since 2010, <jats:styled-content style="fixed-case">UK</jats:styled-content> social policy has been dominated by austerity and welfare reform. These policy platforms sit on a wider set of shifts in policy framings, in terms of both understanding the issue of poverty and the most effective solutions to it. The resulting strategies employed have had significant impacts on children and their household incomes. Within the context of the changing nature of state welfare and the drive for more privatised (non‐state) provision, this paper focuses on the effects of this on assistance to children in particular, employing charitable food banks as a case study. Empirical data from the <jats:styled-content style="fixed-case">UK</jats:styled-content>'s largest food bank organisation (the Trussell Trust Foodbank Network) are explored to chart the rise of this provision as an example of the increasingly important role charitable organisations are playing in caring for children in the face of a reduced welfare state. The results show that both in mean and absolute terms, provision of food parcels to children by charitable foodbanks has grown considerably since the impacts of austerity, welfare reform and rising costs of living kicked in (2012/13). The results indicate that foodbanks are playing a bigger role in the provision of care to children generally in this context, but particularly where childhood deprivation is high. This paper furthers geographical discussions about the changing nature of care for those in or at risk of poverty, focusing on the increased vulnerability of children that has resulted from recent social policy shifts. Food banks form a particularly high‐profile example of the rising prominence of charitable care in the context of an increasingly reduced welfare state. By discussing some of the key challenges of this provision, the paper also facilitates critical thinking about the issues that the contemporary shift away from universal social security and public care services might raise.</jats:p>

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: food insecurity, child poverty, austerity, welfare reform, food bank, UK
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 06 May 2016 16:01
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2023 01:31
DOI: 10.1111/area.12233
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