The case for measuring UK household food insecurity

An interactive session exploring why, and how, household food insecurity could be measured in the UK.

Nov 8th, 18:30 – 20:00, Palace of Westminster, Committee Room 9

Recent analyses from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations suggests 8.4 million live in food insecure households in the UK: unable to secure enough food of sufficient quality and quantity to stay healthy and participate fully in society. However, there is currently no routine measurement of food insecurity in the UK. An absence of regular data collection means the true magnitude of the problem remains hidden, allowing for government inaction.

In January 2016, academics and representatives from civil society organisations attended a workshop devoted to the problem of measurement jointly organised by the Food Research Collaboration, Sustain, the Food Foundation, Oxfam, and the Sociology Department of Oxford University. The conclusion of the workshop was that the UK would now benefit from using a standard measure of household food insecurity, which could be used to monitor the problem at both national and devolved levels as part of existing social and health surveys.

This session is being convened to build the case for measurement amongst the wider academic and policy community, and the general public. We will explore, through plenary discussion, the public policy case for quantifying levels of food insecurity. The session will also explore how complimentary research techniques could help amplify the voices of the food insecure in the public policy process.

The links between food security indicators and other forms of poverty measurements – including fuel poverty and childhood poverty indicators – will be discussed, as will the UK’s commitment to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and indicators. Please do then circulate this event to colleague and peers involved in broader poverty work in addition to food policy.

The session will close with an interactive session, where guests will be introduced to a number of groups and campaigns currently thinking about the measurement and alleviation of food insecurity.

This event is being convened as part of the ESRC Festival of Science.

Please RSVP to the event here.