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Monitoring food poverty

The Food Foundation is working with others to secure national monitoring of food poverty (otherwise known as household food insecurity)  in the UK.  This was last measured more than 10 years ago.  We believe it will be impossible to develop the right policies to tackle the problem if we don’t know how many people are affected and who they are.

In early 2016, the Food Foundation, SustainOxfam and the Food Research Collaboration co-organised a meeting of experts to discuss the national measurement of food insecurity on at City University.  The following report was produced following the workshop:  Time to Count the HungryThis report shows there are internationally recommended measures which could be adopted in the UK. 

Following this publication of this report, the Food Foundation has been working closely with Dr. Rachel Loopstra, Sustain, and Nourish Scotland to take forward the key recommendations of this report: that government should incorporate a measure of food insecurity into a regular national survey tool.  We are also working to inform the End Hunger UK campaign – a national project aiming to both tackle the root causes of food insecurity in the UK, and to secure government commitment to regularly and robustly assess the scale of this challenge.

In 2017, we have reviewed and summarised new analyses and data published, respectively, by UNICEF and England’s Food Standards Agency.

On the 6th December 2016 Emma Lewell-Buck MP lead a Westminster Hall Debate on the measurement of household food insecurity.  You can read the full debate here.

In September 2016, The Food Foundation, Sustain and University of Oxford published a policy briefing on why we must measure food insecurity in the UK.

In May 2016, The Food Foundation published a policy briefing on new UN data on household food insecurity in the UK.  While this was only based on a sample of 1000 adults, it was nationally representative and showed that an estimated 4.7 million people in the UK lived households where an adult had gone at least one day without food due to lack of money in the previous 12 months.